The rest of the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association has been looking up at O'Fallon and Edwardsville all season -- and for good reason.
O'Fallon's only high school hockey loss this season was to Edwardsville, which took an unbeaten record into the rematch between the teams earlier this month.
Edwardsville won the first meeting 4-2 on Jan. 8, but O'Fallon reversed that trend with a 5-2 victory Jan. 22 in Granite City.
To score five goals in one night against a team that had given up only 12 all season to that point also was impressive.
It also was O'Fallon's first victory over Edwardsville in at least eight years, according to O'Fallon coach Ken Barnhill.
"It was a big win," said Barnhill, whose team was 15-1 before Thursday. "Edwardsville is a tough team, but things clicked for us and we had some solid goaltending and some really good defense, too."
If the teams' dominance of the rest of the league continues, they could meet again in an entertaining 2A Division championship series.
"We're a very good skilled team, but mentally we've come a long way as far as playing together," Barnhill said. "A lot of these guys have been playing together for several years and it's fun to watch them move the puck around."
O'Fallon was the aggressor in the second game with Edwardsville, getting the first of two first-period goals by Henry Hunsaker just 59 seconds into the game.
Edwardsville found itself in an extremely rare position this season --trailing.
"I certainly don't think that they panicked in the least," Barnhill said of the Tigers. "If anything in the second and third period they really turned it on. Our goaltender stood on his head all night."
Aaron York, Zach Jordan and Austin Graf also had goals for O'Fallon as Edwardsville switched out starting goaltender Jake Johnston for sophomore R.J. Pluhar.
O'Fallon goaltender Dylan Goss turned away 25 of Edwardsville's 27 shots. Goss is 12-1 with a 1.23 goals-against and .922 save percentage.
"Dylan's had a great year for us," Barnhill said. "The first time around against Edwardsville he kept us in the game and the second time he made some huge saves for us."
O'Fallon has relied heavily on its top two lines led by top scorer Austin Graf with 20 goals and 47 points.
The lines are Rubin Chavarria (13 goals, 28 points) with Graf and Hunsaker (16 goals, 32 points) and Seth Riggan (seven goals, 19 points) skating with Jeff Barrett (13 goals, 23 points) and Brett Maggio (10 goals, 16 points).
Zach Jordan (14 goals, 19 points) helps anchor the defense along with Justin Rehrer, Brandon Goss and York.
"We have a good group of leaders all around, underclassmen and our seniors," Barnhill said. "Things just came together for us and the guys really played together as a team with some discipline."
O'Fallon takes on Belleville West in the first round of the 2A South Division playoffs, with Columbia facing off against Belleville East in the other first-round matchup.
Edwardsville (17-1) remains the team to beat in the 2A North Division, outscoring teams 131-17 this season on its way to a sixth straight division title.
The Tigers face Marquette in their first-round playoff series.