Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Third Howell-Howell North Showdown Saturday

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Third Howell-Howell North Showdown Saturday

Article excerpt

The stage is set for the final regular-season showdown between the Francis Howell and Francis Howell North teams of the Mid-States Club Hockey Association.

"The coaches from both teams have talked about it and we've decided this time there won't be any tie," North coach John Maglione kidded. "One way or another, somebody has to come out on top this time."

Added Howell coach Jim Hofer: "That'd be fine with us. I guess it's winner take all."

Howell (10-2-5) and Howell North (10-6-2) are scheduled to play at 8:15 Saturday night at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.

In earlier meetings this season, the teams tied 4-4 in the Gold Cup exhibition game before the season and 2-2 in a regular-season game on Jan. 1. Both contests drew standing-room-only crowds.

"Any time we play Howell North, it's something special," said Hofer, whose team swept last year's two games against Howell North. "It's a special rivarly - for the players, for the coaches and for the fans.

"This is a game that both sides really look forward to."

Saturday's contest will have an added significance, however, because both teams are jockeying for playoff position.

"It's a key game for both teams," Maglione said.

Howell ran its unbeaten streak to nine games, beating Hazelwood East 2-0 Saturday and McCluer North 6-1 Monday. The Vikings are on a 7-0-2 run.

"I'm really happy with the way we've been playing," Hofer said. "The guys are working extremely hard and the hard work's been paying off. It's tough to get up for every single game, but we've managed to stay fairly consistent all season."

Defenseman Mike Keller, Howell's captain, scored both goals against East. His first goal came after a nice pinch-in along the boards. His second goal, in the third period, capped an impressive end-to-end rush.

Freshman Dan Wind posted the shutout, his second of the season.

"Danny's been playing real well in goal and our defense has been super," said Hofer, mentioning Keller, Chris Wollmershauser, Rich Helm, Kevin Lambert and Keith Layton. "The defense is letting Danny get a good look at the intial shot and then they're doing a great job of clearing the rebounds."

Howell came out a little flat against McCluer North, but came on strong late with four third-period goals. …

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