By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The season started out tough for the Raider Girls Hockey team with the girls dropping their first five games, but a two, three game winning streaks with a loss …
By Bruce Karnick
The season started out tough for the Raider Girls Hockey team with the girls dropping their first five games, but a two, three game winning streaks with a loss sandwiched in there has the ladies finally back at .500 and playing not only as a team, but very good hockey.
The Raiders travelled to West St. Paul Rink to take on the Riveters of Henry Sibley/ St. Paul. Henry Sibley entered the day at 1-11 overall and 0-6 in the Metro East Conference. The Raiders were 5-6 overall and 2-4 in the MEC. South St. Paul leads the MEC with ten points at 5-0, Hill-Murray is in second with eight at 4-0, Simley is in third with seven points at 3-1-1.
The first period had no goals but did have Hastings winning in the shots on goal line 10-6.
The second period was much livelier on both ends of the ice. At 10:58 left in the second, a controversial no goal was called by the officials. Ireland Zaruba had the puck in the corner and Lexi Ramsbacher was crashing the front of the net when she was checked into the goalie. As she was trying to get out of the way, the Sibley defender rolled into Ramsbacher’s legs and the goalie knocking Ramsbacher down. Ramsbacher did fall away from the net and the goalie, but because her skate was still in the crease, the officials called interference. The controversy came with three things. One, she was on the opposite side of the net from Zaruba’s shot and two, she was never in contact with the goalie, the Riveters own player did that through her own actions. The third issue, the puck was in the net before Ramsbacher was in the crease at all.
Several minutes of discussion occurred and it was determined that the goal would not be allowed. 26 second later, Kaitlin Petrich took a pass from Zaruba and buried it for the first goal of the game. Unfortunately, the Raider lead only lasted 20 seconds. The Riveters marched down the ice and tied things up on an even strength goal.
Shortly after the game was tied, Kiki Radant had possession of the puck at the Raider end of the ice when a miscommunication occurred and she ran into a line mate, losing the puck. Henry Sibley capitalized on the mistake and made it 2-1 heading into the third.
Heading into the locker room, Raiders Head Coach Tim Duggan stopped by to chat quick and explain the no goal call.
“The puck was on the net before they… There was no interference. She completely slid over, she got beat and it was in and then, you know, then their girl pushed our girl, they were both in the paint, it never… It didn’t interfere with the play at all.”
His message to the ladies for the third period?
“Gotta crank it up. I think we were coming on strong there for a while, so like we’re just gonna go back to two lines and push one two one two one two and try to get one, tie this thing up,” Duggan explained.
That is exactly what they did, 6:40 into the third period, Jaida Hanson hit Lauren Skov on the right side of the Riveter net and Skov took the shot, a shot that was blocked by the Sibley keeper, but Jaida’s sister, Madyn Hanson was in front, ready for the rebound.
“I was really nervous I was like I need to get this, and we need to win this game, so I was pretty nervous,” Madyn said after the game.
But her nerves did not get the best of her in that moment and she poked in her first ever Varsity goal, tying the game at two.
“It was amazing I was very proud. Jaida passed it down to Skov, then Skov brought it out in front of the net and got a rebound off of that,” beamed Hanson.
It was a gutty goal, bodies and sticks flying all over the place, it was one of those goals of persistence for sure.
The game now tied at two, Radant made up for the earlier mishap with 2:28 left in the game. Petrich fed Zaruba as the Raiders were coming down the ice, who then found Radant and Radant found nothing but white lace. Radant’s goal ended up being the game winner for Hastings.
After the game, as the referees were walking directly by, Coach Duggan was not pleased, “Unbelievable, that was insane… I’m not happy with them at all. Being a referee for 31 years. I usually don’t say a lot, and that’s… I’m upset about that. Not good refereeing at all.”
The fans on both sides were in agreement with Coach Duggan and it was easy to see why. Multiple mistakes on the referee crew with missed calls and erroneous calls made the game frustrating. The caution to emphasize here is, the refs are human, and they make mistakes. The question is, when is it ok to be bothered by their mistakes? When someone with 31 years’ experience as an official explains their disappointment, that’s the time to listen.
Duggan paused to collect himself before he continued. “We knew we had a fight. They don’t have the greatest record but they’re a gutty team. All of their games have been close so we knew we’re gonna get a dogfight. The girls thought maybe we win by more but I told them before the game it is gonna be a one goal game. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. So to get this one and get another gritty gutty win in their house. Coming from a team that probably really wants to win bad? Heck Yeah, that’s a good one for us.”
It was a great win for the Raiders, the Riveters may have only one win this season, but they played hard every second of the game and made the Raiders earn the win.
The game had only one penalty each period called, Henry Sibley owned two of those for four minutes and Hastings had one for two.
Shots on goal favored the Raiders 34-20 with Lauren Dubej stopping 18/20 for Hastings.
The Raiders travelled to South Saint Paul on Tuesday March second and Coach Duggan was excited, “We’ve got a week to get ready for them, we’ll be at their house. We’re ready.
Madyn Hanson scores her first varsity goal to tie the game against Henry Sibley. The cool part? An assist was credited to her sister Jaida on the goal. Photo by Bruce Karnick