By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The Hastings boys hockey team is nearing the end of their season. By the time you read this, it is quite likely it will be a few hours from their final regular …
By Bruce Karnick
The Hastings boys hockey team is nearing the end of their season. By the time you read this, it is quite likely it will be a few hours from their final regular season game Thursday, March 11th, at home against Bloomington Jefferson. As of Monday, the Raiders are sitting in first place of the Metro East Conference with a record of 8-4 good for 16 points. St. Thomas Academy (STA) is second at 7-0-1 and 15 points and Hill Murray is right behind them at 7-1-0 with 14 points. The problem the Raiders have is, both STA and Hill Murray have the head-to-head tie breakers over the Raiders as they are responsible for three of the four conference losses Hastings has had this year.
Let us look back at last week’s games. Tuesday, March Second, Hastings travelled to South St. Paul (SSP) to take on the Packers at Doug Woog Arena. It was a game the got out of hand quickly in favor of Hastings. Here is your scoring summary: First Period: #19 Jax Schauer an even strength goal assisted by #16 Jager Kendall and #6 Kyle Bauer.
Second Period: #11 Luke Savage an even strength goal assisted by #6 Kyle Bauer and #19 Jax Schauer.
#20 Stephen Reifenberger an even strength assisted by #15 Collin Stewart.
#8 Jake Harris an even strength goal assisted by #7 Connor Stoffel and #27 Alex Thompson.
#8 Jake Harris a short-handed goal assisted by #10 Jonathon Peine and #15 Collin Stewart.
#19 Jax Schauer an even strength go assisted by #11 Luke Savage.
Third Period: #25 John Chorlton a power play goal assisted by #19 Jax Schauer and #11 Luke Savage.
The Raiders won 7-0 with Tyler McCarville earning the shutout win in the net.
Hastings was in the penalty box five times for 10 minutes, most of which occurred in the third period. SSP spent eight minutes sitting on four penalties. Hastings was one for four on the power play and SSP zero of five.
Shots on goal were 43 for Hastings and seven for SSP.
The game everyone was looking forward to was the rematch against last years state champions, the Mahtomedi Zephyrs. The first game at TRIA became pretty chippy and the officials certainly did no favors for the Raiders. The aggression continued at Hastings, but no goals were scored in the first period.
Hastings came out firing in the second period and 1:36 in, Jake Harris put one in the back of the net assisted by Jonathon Peine. At 3:15, Jager Kendal went to the penalty box for Hastings lone penalty of the game. Unfortunately, that trip only lasted six seconds when Mahtomedi tied the score. Three minutes later, the Zephyrs scored again and took the 2-1 lead into the locker room.
Once again, Hastings came out firing and 38 seconds in Schauer evened the score at 2. “It was a big feed from Bauer, we just put it in the net. That’s it. We haven’t beat Maht in so long, it feels nice to get it done.”
Yes, he is a man of many words, and that tells you how the game ended! The game winner came from the stick of Harris to Joe Benson, eventually to Peine, who scored with 14:54 minutes remaining in the third.
Shots on Goal: Hastings had 37, Mahtomedi 30. Each team had one penalty for two minutes. Boring on the penalty side, which is great, but don’t let that fool you. The game was exciting the entire time. High energy, a plethora of great opportunities for both teams to score and goalies that played extremely well.
The final game of the week was Saturday night at Hill Murray, and it left many wondering if the body snatchers came and took the boys and replaced them with doppelgangers. The play from Hastings was slow and undisciplined. Perhaps the high energy of the game Thursday took its toll on the Raiders, but they did not play their kind of game. The final of that game was 8-1 in favor of the Pioneers. The loan Hastings goal came from Schauer in the second period, but Hill had already built up a 6-0 lead prior to the Raiders getting on the board.
Shots on Goal: Hastings 22, Hill Murray 53. Again, each team only had one penalty for two minutes, sadly, Hill converted on their power- play and the Raiders did not.
Monday night, the boys faced the Blake Bears. Blake scored late in the first period to earn the 1-0 lead in on eight shots on goal to Hastings’ six.
The second period the Bears made it 2-0 in the first 16 seconds of the period, compounding the year long problems the Raiders have had with allowing early in the period goals. Luke Savage brought the Raiders back within one on a beautiful pass from John Chorlton and that is where the period would end, Bears-2, Raiders-1.
The third period things started to get very chippy, primarily lead by the Bears. So much so, one of their players was sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct. Unfortunately, Hastings could not capitalize. The third belonged to Blake on several huge mistakes by the Raiders. The second goal of the period was stopped initially by McCarville, but two Bears players were out front with no Raiders anywhere near, waiting for the rebound. 35 seconds later, McCarville completely mishandled the puck from behind the net, turning it over for an easy Blake goal. That led to the 5-1 thumping of the Raiders.
The second game in a row where the boys just did not play the kind of hockey they have been playing all year. The offense felt meek at best, the score sheet says Hastings had 28 shots on goal, but it seemed significantly less on the ice. Perhaps it was the outstanding play of Blake’s goalie, but it seemed more to be the Raiders just look worn down and extremely tired. Not a good situation to be in heading into the playoffs. Hopefully they can rest up in the next few days and regain their energy, they are going to need it in their regular season finale against Bloomington Jefferson on Thursday.
The section tournament is slated to begin with round one on the 16th, Quarterfinals on the 18th, Semifinals on the 20th and the Section Championship on the 24th. All with the highest seed hosting.
The teams in Section 1AA are: Farmington HS, Hastings HS, Lakeville North HS, Lakeville South HS, Northfield HS, Owatonna HS, Rochester Century HS, Rochester John Marshall, Rochester Mayo HS.
The State Tournament starts March 30th.
The line that scored the first goal against Mahtomedi. L-R 21-Jack Nicklay, 7-Connor Stoffel, 25-John Chorlton, 8-Jake Harris (goal), 10-Jonothon Peine (assist). The boys are making their way to the bench to celebrate the early 1-0 lead. Photo by Bruce Karnick