Panther hockey stumbles late in season with back to back losses

Panthers Hockey logoO’FALLON – The O’Fallon Panthers ice hockey team will need to kick start their offense in order to get back on track after suffering back to back losses last week.

After being shut out 3-0 by Edwardsville last Monday, the Panthers hoped to bounce back against Columbia the following day. O’Fallon managed to put one past Columbia goaltender Chase Taake but were defeated 4-1.

Columbia built a lead early in the game, scoring three times in the opening period. Hayden Ourada scored the only Panther goal in the second period on assists from Graham Sudduth and Chris Duncan. Ourada’s goal is the only O’Fallon tally in their last three games, having been outscored 14-1.

Hayden Ourada and his younger brother Ethan Ourada continue to generate the attack for the Panthers. Ethan, a sophomore, leads the team with 28 points (16 G, 12 A). With his goal against Columbia, Hayden is right behind his brother with 27 points (14 G, 13 A).

Goaltender Kristin Smith stopped 23 of 27 shots against Columbia. The 4-1 defeat marks Smith’s first loss of the season.

The Panthers now have a 12-6 record and are currently in fourth place in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association 2A division.  Edwardsville remains atop the MVCHA standings with 28 points while Freeburg/Waterloo and Columbia both remain ahead of O’Fallon with 25 points.

O’Fallon will face off against Collinsville on Monday, January 23, in their second to last game of the regular season. The JV Panthers will play back to games this weekend against Bethalto on Saturday and Highland on Sunday.