By Derek Simon [email protected] The Hastings boy’s hockey team has gotten off to a hot start with an overall record of 8-3 and a 5-2 mark in the Metro East Conference. This past week the …
By Derek Simon
The Hastings boy’s hockey team has gotten off to a hot start with an overall record of 8-3 and a 5-2 mark in the Metro East Conference. This past week the Raiders would face two conference opponents, Tartan on Tuesday night in Hastings and Mahtomedi Saturday at the Tria Rink in St. Paul.
Tartan had a record of 7-4-1 and a conference record of 4-3-1 when they travelled to Hastings Tuesday night. The Titans would score just 36 second into the game to take the early 1-0 lead. Hastings offense was held scoreless until the 10:20 mark of the first period when Stephen Reifenberger scored an unassisted goal to tie the game 1-1. Reifenberger’s goal would be the first of four Raiders goals in a span of 2:57. At 11:20 of the first period Connor Stoffel put the Raiders up 2-1 with another unassisted marker. At 12:57 the Raiders scored their third goal. Jager Kendall scored to give the Raiders the 3-1 lead. Assists were awarded to Jax Schauer and Kyle Bauer. Twenty second later Schauer scored with an assist from Kendall and the Raiders lead 4-1. The goal was the final goal of the period as the Raiders led 4-1 after the first. Hastings outshot Tartan 11-7 in the period.
Tartan made a goaltender change after the first period and then struck first in the second period. The powerplay goal at 4:12 cut the Raiders lead to 4-2. The Raiders took three penalties in the period which gave the Titans some extra space and more opportunities in the offensive zone. Hastings answered the goal with one of their own at 6:02. Luke Savage put Hastings ahead 5-2, single assist to Jack Nicklay. Tartan again answered at 12:32 to cut the lead to two again at 5-3. Schauer would then score his second goal of the game and his team leading 11th of the season at 16:35 to give Hastings a 6-3 lead. Single assist to Joe Benson. The Titans outshot the Raiders 16-10 in the second period.
The goal with 25 seconds left in the second period seemed to give Hastings confidence in the third period. The Raiders peppered the Titans with 20 shots in the period, while only allowing eight. Despite the offensive onslaught, the Raiders were unable to add to their lead. The Hastings defense and goaltender Tyler McCarville were equal to the task, holding Tartan scoreless as well. Hastings wins eighth straight by a score of 6-3. The Raiders outshoot the Titans 41-31 for the game. McCarville had 28 saves in the win.
On Saturday, the Raiders travelled to the TRIA Rink to face the Mahtomedi Zephers. The TRIA Rink is the practice rink for the Minnesota Wild and the home rink for Hamline University. One end of the rink has windows so the spectators can see the St. Paul skyline. The rink is a beautiful facility with NHL quality ice and two Zamboni’s.
The Zephers entered the game with a 6-5-1 record and a Metro East Conference record of 1-2-1. Mahtomedi would strike first at 2:32 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Hastings tied the score at 6:32 on a goal from Stoffel. Assists were awarded to Jonathan Peine and Jake Harris. Both teams would continue to pressure, playing horse end to end hockey. The Zephers would score at 13:18 and again at 14:18 to take a 3-1 lead after one period. Despite the deficit, the Raiders held a 16-15 shot advantage after the first period. Kendall, one of the top players on the team, was injured in the first period and did not return to the game.
“We just haven’t been able to finish on a couple chances. They transition to line rushes very well and creates offense that way, but you know losing Jagger hurts having been one of our best players get hurt like that. But our guys have done a great job responding we’re still getting chances still opportunities we just got to capitalize. I like where we’re at, like the chances,” said Coach Welch on the first 17 minutes of play.
The Zephers would dominate the second period of play, but McCarville would keep the Raiders in the game. The senior tender would stop 16 of 17 second period shots, while the Raiders would manage just eight shots in the period and were held off the score sheet. The Zephers led 4-1 after two periods.
The third period was almost the exact opposite of the second period, as Hastings would control most of the play. At the 3:13 mark of the third period, Peine scored to trim the lead to 4-2. A single assist on the goal was given to John Chorlton. As the period went on, the Zephers took some liberties with Raiders players that the refs did not call. Hastings also had a goal disallowed well after the puck was in the back of the net. Hastings would outshoot Mahtomedi 16-6 in the period, but could only score one goal. Mahtomedi wins the game 4-2, Hastings had a 40-38 shot advantage. McCarville with 34 saves in the loss.
Hastings has three games next week, the final three conference games of the regular season. On Tuesday, Hastings travels to South St. Paul to take on the Packers. On Thursday the Raiders look to even the score with Mahtomedi in Hastings. On Saturday, the Raiders will be on the road to take on the Hill Murray Pioneers.
John Chorlton takes a shot from the point trying to get the Raiders back in to the game on Saturday at Tria Rink in St. Paul against Mahtomedi. Photo by Ashley Nicole