Girls hockey drops a close one and boys hold tryouts

Posted 11/23/21

By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The girls have been going strong for nearly three weeks and boys just completed tryouts. First, lets look at how the girls did this week. The girls played …

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Girls hockey drops a close one and boys hold tryouts


By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

The girls have been going strong for nearly three weeks and boys just completed tryouts. First, lets look at how the girls did this week.

The girls played back-toback last weekend on Friday and Saturday, first facing the Fergus Falls Otters at home. The Otters scored first at the 10:43 mark of the first period. 45 seconds later Kiki Radant evened it up with an unassisted goal.

The second period, Fergus falls scored on the power play at 8:50. Hastings went on the powerplay a few minutes later and Madyn Hanson found Lauren Skov for the second game tying goal at 12:57. At 14:51, Radant connected with Kyra Erickson who then passed to Karissa Thompson for the go-ahead goal.

No goals were scored in the third period. The Raiders held on for the win, the final 3-2.

Hastings had three penalties for six minutes and Fergus Falls had two penalties for four minutes.

Hastings had 21 shots on goal to Fergus Falls 27.

On Saturday afternoon, Hastings travelled to Woodbury to take on the East Ridge Raptors. The Raptors took the early lead on a power play goal at 6:32. Erickson tied the game at one at the 9:56 mark of the first period. Erickson was assisted by Thompson and Radant.

The second period belonged to East Ridge scoring the only goal of the second, a shorthanded goal.

East Ridge added to their lead at 4:41 into the third. Kylie Gruden received a pass from Radant to bring the Raiders to within one with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Hastings was unable to score a third to put the game into overtime. East Ridge gave the Raiders their first loss of the season.

Shots on goal went as follows: Hastings – 20, East Ridge – 29 Hastings had four minutes of penalties on two infractions, East Ridge two minutes on one.

The girls host Holy Angels on Wednesday, November 24 at 7:30 then they travel to Duluth for the weekend. First stop is Proctor/Hermantown at the Hermantown Ice Arena at 7:00 on Friday. Then on Saturday they play Duluth at the Heritage Center at 2:00.

The boys held tryouts last week to determine the roughly 40-man roster. The roster can and will fluctuate in numbers, but the plan right now is to have four goalies, and around 32-36 skaters. Giving each level 18-20 guys on the roster. Of course, JV and Varsity players can move between the rosters if needed.

Head Coach Matt Klein explained the roster thought process. “It’s ballpark, I think the talent and the character of these kids will dictate kind of where we’re at. And, you know, we have a lot of hard-working kids. If we end up with 34 skaters, great. That’s a lot. And if we have a 32, that’s where we’ll be. We have some kids injured right now we have three kids that haven’t tried out, and their time will come in the next few weeks just due to injury, so, we keep that in mind. We’re not going to shortchange our roster right now, because we’re gonna have more kids coming out. So, if we end up with 40 or 39, that is just more opportunities to let kids be Raiders.”

The interesting part with the program Hastings has for hockey, it is not uncommon for a freshman or sophomore to make the varsity roster, the talent pool is normally quite deep with very solid players, unfortunately, that also means while the younger skaters try out, they don’t always make it at the younger age.

“When everybody was healthy, we had 47 kids sign up to try out this year. Which you know, it’s awesome for the culture of hockey and there will always be a place for all these kids to play. If it doesn’t work out this week for them, we have a junior gold program that offers good hockey and other places. We are not taking their skates, they will still be hockey players it will just be in a different jersey at this time,” added Klein.

The tryout consisted of some small skill tests, but mostly featured a lot of fiveon- five action. The intention was to give kids a ton a quality touches of the puck and time on the ice over a four-day period.

This year will feature plenty of new faces on the bench for Hastings. Adam Welch departed last year to spend more time with his kids. The gave Klein the opportunity to apply for his second head coaching job of his career. Before coming to Hastings as an assistant coach, a position he held for six years, Klein with the girl’s head coach in Shakopee for five years.

Klein spoke highly of his time with Welch and the influence he had on him. “First, integrity. Adam was just… you know, where you stood, and the message was always for the betterment of the kid. He was a kid first coach, he was a student athlete, but again, he wanted to coach the human first. And you know, what he does and how he communicates and how He leads by example.”

Klein is ready to lead again, to take what he has learned and understand what he has done before. He knows he does not have all the answers and he’s cool with that. He has a solid coaching staff around him and he is anxious to get the kids on the ice working hard and having fun. A message that he learned from Welch.

“And that message might sound the same, but it’s gonna look a little different. I think for our kids, sometimes different good, sometimes it’s not, but I think they’re gonna be excited every day that the opportunities we’re going to provide,” Klein said smiling.

For his coaching staff, Tom Kuhn is returning and will help him with defense during the breakout sessions. Ben Tharp, Ryan Stoffel will work with the forwards, and Blake Johnson and Dana Gerlach will be the JV coaches.

One thing is certain, with the talent they had last year returning, this should be an exciting team to watch. Make sure you get out to the Hastings Civic Arena and cheer both of these teams on to victory!