Photo by Diane Cox
EA-WR goalie Blake Stone makes a save during the MVCHA 1A finals series with Edwardsville. The Oilers finished runner-up to the Tigers.
Another strong Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association season unfolded in 2014-15. That campaign is recapped below.
EAST ALTON-WOOD RIVER (1A): The Oilers finished the 2014-2015 season by taking the 1A MVCHA West Division title for the second consecutive year and advanced to the finals. The Oilers fell short of the title to Edwardsville in back-to-back games in a best-of-three series.
Ending the year with a record of 14-7-4, the Oilers embraced the coaching style of new head coach John Helmkamp and improved their regular season play as well as reduced their time in the penalty box.
Blake Stone took the reins as the Oilers’ goaltender and finished the season with 510 saves and 61 goals scored against. Leading EA-WR in scoring was junior Cole Ford with 15 goals and 24 assists. Seniors Alec Revelle and Seth Chester both netted 13 goals and racked up 57 assists between the pair.
Ford and Chester have been selected to attend the MVCHA Missouri East team at the America’s Showcase in Pittsburgh during the first week in April.
BETHALTO (1A): The Bethalto Eagles advanced to the MVCHA 1A West Division finals by defeating the Marquette Explorers in back-to-back games, but then fell to EA-WR.
The Eagles finished their season 6-9 in 2014-2015. Under the direction of head coach Corey Newgent, the Eagles are hoping to build numbers in the coming season to increase the roster. The Eagles hope to regain the MVCHA 1A West Division title they earned in the 2012-2013 season.
Alec Hilliard blocked the net for the Eagles with 321 saves and 54 goals scored against. Leading the offense for Bethalto was senior Aaron Scott with 11 goals and five assists. Brayden Emerick netted nine goals and three assists for the Eagles.
MARQUETTE (1A): The Marquette Explorers fought through a rough season in 1A with an extremely short bench. Keeping fresh legs on the ice was a struggle for head coach John Dumoulin. Marquette was eliminated from the playoffs in a series sweep against Bethalto.
Finishing their season with a record of 0-7-1, the Explorers hope to build on existing talent to keep the Marquette hockey tradition alive.
Alex Harder held down the goal with 255 saves and 47 goals allowed. Zach Hunter lead the Explorers with four goals and four assists, while Tyler Jackson contributed three goals and three assists for the 2014-2015 season.
ALTON (2A): The 2A Alton Redbirds battled in a tough 2A North Division against undefeated Edwardsville.
Advancing to the MVCHA North Division finals, the Redbirds fell short to the Tigers in two games in a best-of-three series.
Under the direction of Abram Henson, the Redbirds beat Collinsville 2-1 in a best-of-three series to open the playoffs.
Alton loses seniors Mitch Klug and Tyler St. Peters, who took an equal share in goal for the Redbirds this season. Alex Rubin led the offense with 26 goals and 12 assists, while defenseman Kain Henson led the Redbirds with 40 points with 19 goals and 21 assists.