BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
Head Coach Patrick Roy has to be happy to walk out of this part of the schedule up two games to one. The Panthers faced a six day gauntlet featuring Columbia, Freeburg-Waterloo, and Bethalto, and OTHS managed to bookend the week with a pair of quality wins.
Junior Goaltender Kristen Smith got the week started with an impressive shutout performance over Columbia in Granite City, as the offense erupted for seven goals in an all-around rout of the Eagles.
Jack Wallace would record a point on each of the first two goals, scoring the initial tally and adding an assist on the second. He add another goal to make it 4-0 and would finish with 3 points.
Hayden Ourada recorded the hat-trick in scoring three goals, the last of which made it 7-0.
O’Fallon returned to the ice two evenings later in Granite City to take on Freeburg-Waterloo, but couldn’t hold onto an early lead created by a pair of early goals from Ryan Boeck and Parker Townsend.
The Bulldogs would roar back with four unanswered tallies to overwhelm the normally unflappable Panthers.
Perhaps an unseen benefit to the grueling six day schedule was the short turn-around, as the team would quickly return to competition on Monday night at the East Alton Ice Arena against Bethalto.
Wallace would again get the scoring started for O’Fallon in this one, burying the shot off a slick feed from Logan Drolet before Cooper Barnhill lit the lamp off a pass from Hayden Ourada to give the Panthers the 2-0 lead.
Bethalto would answer minutes later before the brother connection of Hayden and Ethan Ourada connected to give O’Fallon another two goal lead.
Bethalto would continue to find an answer to keep the game close, as the home team would keep pace with the Blue and Gold until Drolet made the game 5-3 with the help of an Ethan Ourada assist.
The Ouradas would connect again just minutes later to essentially put the game out of reach before Ethan put the final nail in the coffin. Bethalto would find only one more answer and the Panthers walked out of East Alton with a 7-4 slugfest win over one of the top 4 teams in the league.
O’Fallon’s win moved the Panthers to 2-1 on the week and 8-2 on the season.
The Blue and Gold will return to the EAIA on Thursday when they take on Triad.