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Around the Columns

Border Showdown puck drops

hockey
hockey

Missouri junior forward Nicholas Edwards skates toward daylight during Mizzou’s 7-5 loss to Kansas at Independence (Mo.) Events Center Jan. 20, 2010. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

In a sport known for its vicious collisions, rowdy crowds and high drama, is it any wonder fans turned out in droves to watch Kansas and Missouri’s hockey clubs battle on the ice?

For the first time, the brand new Independence (Mo.) Events Center hosted the “frozen” Border Showdown, with the Jayhawks besting the Tigers 7-5 Jan. 20, 2010. It was Kansas’ first victory over Missouri since 2003 with Mizzou winning the previous 17 consecutive meetings.

“We still have national rankings and the league championship to play for, but that game was basically (Kansas’) whole season,” says head Coach John Lamond. “They played with a sense of desperation, and they played better than we did.”

The two squads dazzled the crowd in a nearly three-fourths full 5,800-seat arena, where fans in black and gold clearly outnumbered those in crimson and blue. Junior forward Tommy Stream led the Tigers with two goals, but Kansas sophomore forward Jake Mitchell’s hat trick led all scorers.

The two non-Division I teams play in the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association — a league featuring Purdue, Iowa and Northwestern, among others. Missouri (14-14-1) plays most of its home games in Jefferson City, and Kansas (4-15) plays in Overland Park, Kan. The Independence Events Center opened in November 2009 and is home to the Central Hockey League’s Missouri Mavericks.

More: mizzouhockey.com