Two days after rolling past Edwardsville East 8-3, the Highland Bulldogs hockey team looked to build off that performance with a solid showing against Collinsville.
The Kahoks, however, had other ideas and, in the end, Highland struggled against the disciplined and talented Collinsville club.
A late two-goal first period surge and a three-goal burst early in the third period gave the Kahoks plenty of juice as they rolled to a 7-2 Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association win Thursday, Dec. 2, at Granite City Ice Rink.
The outcome was markedly different from when Collinsville slipped past HHS 3-2 earlier this season. This time, the Bulldogs offense was almost nonexistent until the third period and the Highland defense struggled to clear the puck out of their own end of the ice.
“The difference (tonight) was what we did on the defensive end (was) we allowed them to come in and they dictated (the play of the game) on that end. Then, when we came out, they were able to get the stick on us,” Highland coach Joel Hawkins said.
Collinsville (5-2) struck first on Eric Denny’s goal to go up 1-0 with 6:45 left in the first period. Then, in the final three minutes of the opening period, the Kahoks got power play goals from Kody Watts and Brent Ledbetter to push their lead to 3-0.
Cody Austin’s early second period goal upped Collinsville’s advantage to 4-0.
HHS (3-4-1) had several good chances in the second and third period, but Collinsville goalie Jacob Zagorski turned away Matt Miscik, Tyler Griesbaum, and Jacob Noll multiple times.
“Their guy just kept getting better and better (stopping shots),” Hawkins said. “He really made some goods saves and Tyler Griesebaum — one of our best players — had a couple of opportunities and that kid robbed him.”
Ledbetter’s second goal of the night made it 5-0 but with 9:53 left. Highland broke Zagorski’s shutout bid when Miscik scored on a breakaway to cut the lead to 5-1.
Collinsville responded with goals from Tanner Bettis and Ledbetter for a 7-1 bulge. Noll scored an unassisted goal for Highland with 5:58 left, ending the scoring.
Hawkins was less than thrilled with the Bulldogs performance — especially on the offensive end.
“Jacob finally got a goal and we had a couple of chances (to score), but it was really one-sided (in Collinsville’s favor) and you’ve got to get shots to get goals. And we didn’t get shots,” Hawkins said.
Highland resumes action at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, against O’Fallon at McKendree Metro Rec Plex in O’Fallon.
Highland Girls Basketball
Fresh off a win to end the Salem Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 27, the Lady Bulldogs basketball team returned home Tuesday, Nov. 30, to host Mississippi Valley Conference foe Waterloo.
HHS stayed close early, trailing just 24-17 at halftime but HHS could not complete the comeback in the second half and ultimately lost 53-41. Abby Huelsmann led Highland with 14 points and Larissa Taylor added 8 points.
On Tuesday, Nov. 30, Highland ventured north to Edwardsville to take on the always tough Tigers at Edwardsville High School. The Lady Bulldogs started off slow and fell behind by 11 points in the first quarter and were down 39-11 at halftime before falling 55-19.
HHS (2-7) finished the week dropping an MVC home game to Mascoutah 61-46.
The Bulldog wrestling team started their season well Tuesday, Nov. 23, during a quad match at Effingham High School, taking down host Effingham 54-23 and Pinckneyville 40-29. Highland’s only match loss was a 57-21 setback to Centralia as HHS went 2-1 in the quad meet.
On Thanksgiving weekend, HHS traveled to Murphysboro for a tri-match with Murphysboro and Marion. However, Highland lost to host Murphysboro 42-34 and then dropped a 60-12 decision to Marion.