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Edwardsville Hockey Coach of the Year Jason Walker




With the pre-hockey season in doubt, Edwardsville coach Jason Walker found his Tigers among old friends in 2021.

And while circumstances had changed since the Tigers last played in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey association, the end result was known: an Edwardsville championship.

Walker has been there for championships by EHS in both the MVCHA and the Mid-States Club Hockey Association. And whoever captured his team in 2021 made him both proud and grateful.

“This season has been tough with all the unknowns,” Walker said. “We doubted for a long time whether we would get the chance to play.

“We are grateful to be able to play. The team has done a great job focusing everything.”

Edwardvsille took his top varsity program from the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association and moved to the Mid-States Club Hockey Association at the start of the 2016-17 season. The move came after Edwardsville won its fifth consecutive league championship in 2015-16.

The coronavirus delayed the start of the MVCHA season, pushing it all the way back to spring from the traditional fall start, and it also forced Edwardsville to bring its top varsity team back to the league for just one season.

The Tigers went 5-0 in the pandemic “tournament” format used by the MVCHA. They defeated the opposition 53-2.

“It was fun playing against local teams and old rivals that we have missed in recent seasons,” said Walker. “We will be excited to get back to normal and to Mid-states for the upcoming season.”

After Granite City faced Triad and Edwardsville in their respective division finals against Columbia, the teams went head to head.

The Tigers took a 4-1 win in the first game, in which 25 penalties were taken. The win for EHS ended a 27-game winning streak for Granite City.

In the second game, Granite City jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Tigers tied for a tie with 10 seconds left in the regular season and then won in a shootout.

It was the 12th MVCHA Championship in program history for the Tigers, who have won 58 consecutive MVCHA games with their top team.

A month after the MVCHA title, the Tigers made a trip to the USA Hockey High School Championships in Omaha, Nebraska, where they came 1–2.

“The journey of the Nationals has been great for us as a young team,” said Walker. “We need to gain that experience by playing against great teams in an atmosphere that will make us better in the future.”




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