It hasn't taken long for two metro-east teams to quickly assert themselves as the favorites in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association's 2A Division.
South Division powerhouse O'Fallon (7-0) and defending MVCHA champ Edwardsville (6-0) from the North are quickly running away from the rest of the competition.
Triad (4-2) leads the 1A East Division while Bethalto (3-3) sits atop the 1A West Division standings.
O'Fallon (7-0) has outscored teams 43-5 with two shutouts and plenty of roster talent.
The Panthers' top scorer is Austin Graf with 10 goals and 20 points in just seven games. Graf is tied with Edwardsville senior forward Jon Weisner for the area scoring lead, with both players firing in 10 goals and 20 points.
O'Fallon's Jeffrey Barrett (eight goals, 12 points) and Rubin Chavarra (four goals, 12 points) have also been major offensive contributors.
Panthers goalie Dylan Goss is off to a 6-0 start with two shutouts and a 0.69 goals-against average
O'Fallon has already opened a divide in the 2A South Division ahead of Belleville East (4-2), Columbia (3-1-1) and Belleville West (1-4-1).
Edwardsville is taking a toll on opposing defenses and goaltenders, outscoring the opposition 59-4.
The Tigers posted a 9-0 win over Granite City on Monday at East Alton Ice Arena, then followed that up with a 12-0 victory the following night over Highland.
Edwardsville has three straight shutout victories.
Against Granite City, Edwardsville senior Marshall Gevers had three goals and four assists while Weisner had two goals and five assists.
Weisner added three goals and five points against Highland. Edwardsville senior Cory Johnson had two goals and five points, with Gevers contributing one goal and four assists.
Weisner, one of 10 seniors on the roster, leads the team with 10 goals and 20 points while Gevers has nine goals and 18 points. Leo Blandina has seven goals and 10 points while goaltender Jacob Johnston is 4-0 with a 1.40 goals-against average.
Marquette has the area's goal-scoring leader in Blake Varady with 12, while Graf and Weisner are second with 10. Varady already has three hat tricks this season.
Bethalto's Aaron Scott is also among the early scoring leaders with three goals and 15 points. East's top forwards are Zach Thompson (seven goals, 14 points) and Alex Pellegrino (six goals, 13 points).