By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The Raider boy’s hockey team faced a tough opponent on Tuesday, February 9th, when the South Saint Paul Packers (SSP) came to Hastings Civic Arena for Senior …
By Bruce Karnick
The Raider boy’s hockey team faced a tough opponent on Tuesday, February 9th, when the South Saint Paul Packers (SSP) came to Hastings Civic Arena for Senior Night. SSP vs Hastings seems to be a match up that is always rough, no matter the sport due to the long-standing history between the two teams. This match up was no exception.
The first period had a goal for each team, both on powerplays. Collin Stewart scored on a pass from Connor Stoffel and Kyle Bauer. The second period Hastings’ Luke Savage and Kyle Bauer Scored.
In the third period, South St. Paul narrowed the gap and make it 3-2 but Hastings would answer right back, scoring on the next two line shifts to regain the larger lead. The first goal, Jager Kendall found Jonathon Peine to make it 4-2. Then, six seconds later, Kendall took it to the house unassisted.
Hastings had four penalties for eight minutes and the Packers only had two penalties for four minutes.
Tyler McCarville started the night in goal for the Raiders and because it was Senior Night, he split the game with Simon Hedin. Both McCarville and Hedin each faced 11 shots, stopping 10.
For South St. Paul, Cole Sitar faced 45 shots, stopping 40.
On his weekly call, Coach Adam Welch gave the Packers goalie heavy praise.
“Their goalie played really well! Their goalie was just coming back from being sick, not COVID, but being sick, and again we thought we put a number of shots on him, I can’t remember the exact number, but we out shot them heavily and their goalie did a really good job.”
“It was our senior night, so we had shuffled lines a little bit just to kind of get some more seniors playing time and played a few more D than we normally play. And then, you know, we also split the game with Tyler and Simon, and it was good, it was a good experience for all of our kids that it was still a close game in the third period,” Welch said.
“I thought we played well had lots of chances to score, and then, you know, when we got pushed. We did a good job of responding and putting the team away,” Welch added.
The Raiders are very fortunate to have two excellent goalies on the varsity roster with McCarville and Hedin, a fact that Coach Welch recognizes.
“Early on Tyler got a lot of the games against some of those tougher opponents. And, you know, we’re always looking for chances to get Simon in because you know he’s just such a great kid and we have full confidence in Simon too, so, we want to get him games too so that he feels comfortable, so if we ever need to use him. You know, we’ll continue to kind of split here there the next couple of games, and then when we get into some, like Mahtomedi or Hill Murray, Tyler will kind of be our guy.”
The Raiders then travelled to St. Paul Highland Park on Thursday for their second game against the newly reformed Scots, in five days. Yes, you read that right, The Scots recently formed their high school hockey program as a joint program between Central and Highland High Schools, inner city schools in St. Paul. The program was formed within the last few years which means they are still a young program in the hockey world.
The results were very similar to that of the previous meeting, a 7-0 thumping in Hastings. The Raiders hit the back of the net seven times in the first period. Johnathon Peine started it off four minutes in, on an unassisted goal. 30 seconds later, John Chorlton was assisted by Jager Kendall and Jax Schauer and 30 seconds after that, it was Schauer’s turn off of a pass from Kendall. Peine hit goal number two, assisted by Collin Stewart and Jack Nicklay and in a span of two minutes and two seconds, the Raiders were up by four.
With 5:54 left in the first, Chorlton scored his second, assisted by Luke Savage and Kendall, then 42 seconds later, it was Jake Harris’ turn, also assisted by Savage. Schauer took a pass from Kendall and finished the onslaught with 30 seconds left in the first to make it 7-0 Hastings.
The second and third period were boring in comparison to the first. River McDowell scored on a pass from Jordan Costello at 12:13 in the second and Connor Stoffel got on the score sheet, assisted by Joe Benson and Nicklay at 8:04 left in the second. Kyle Bauer was not going to be left off the score sheet either. He took a pass from Schauer and Kendall to make it 10-0 with 8:50 left in the game.
Jager Kendall did not put one in the net for Hastings, but he finished the night with five assists, an indication of a great teammate. Hastings had seven different players score, three that scored twice, all of the double scores happening in the first period.
The score alone is lopsided, until you look at shots on goal. The final number there had Hastings with 62 SOG and the Scots with 14. Simon Hedin earned his second shutout of the season.
Coach Welch was proud of how his team played together.
“We did a good job of starting fast, and then, again, talking about the way that we play, I thought we did a really good job of playing together. Then, we had, I think it was seven different people scored, which was, you know, pretty cool. We get a lot of people involved instead of just one guy or, you know, one line. You know seven people scored so it was good. It was a good game for us. Again build confidence and build some, what’s the word I’m looking for, chemistry, that’s what I’m looking for, build some chemistry within our guys.”
There were other aspects beyond the score that Coach Welch was looking for in a game like this.
“Powerplay scored which is good something we’ve been working on; penalty kill did a good job when we had to kill. Also something we’ve been working on. So those couple of things did the job and, again, was happy with the way that we was the way that we played,” Coach Welch explained.
One major issue the Raiders had at the beginning of the season were penalties. They consistently had many penalties in one game, something Coach Welch has worked on with the team, “Yeah, and that’s kind of the things we talked about too is to, you know, to have a better penalty kill, you stay out of the box more, you know if you have to kill off a bunch of penalties that you’re just asking to be scored on and so it has been a focus of ours to stay out of the box and play five on five.”
Hastings has almost a full week off between games with their next opponent being Henry Sibley on Thursday the 18th.
“I know that they always play tough. They’re a tough team, they work hard, and they’re they like to be physical. We go up there to play at Sibley which is a smaller rink, so we have to be ready to go and play with a lot of pace right from the very beginning because like I said they, they always play tough especially at their home rank,” Welch said.
Right after Sibley, they have two more games against opponents they have already beaten this season, this time at home. First up is Simley on the 20th and then Tartan on the 23rd. Both rematches that the Raiders are looking forward too, this time on their ice.
The Raiders celebrate Kyle Bauer’s goal in the second period. Photo by Bruce Karnick