The Raiders girls hockey season opened Saturday, Nov. 11 as part of the Girls Hockey Day Hastings event. Red Wing came to town and Hastings quickly took the lead, never looking back. The Raiders won …
The Raiders girls hockey season opened Saturday, Nov. 11 as part of the Girls Hockey Day Hastings event. Red Wing came to town and Hastings quickly took the lead, never looking back. The Raiders won 6-1 with quick moving offense, solid defense and quality goaltending.
Hastings jumped out to an early lead when Lauren Muhl scored at the 1:11 mark of the first period. The quickness of the Raiders seemed to catch the Wingers by surprise. A minute and 18 seconds later, Grace Petrich found white lace for her first varsity goal, scoring the second Raiders goal at 2:29 into the first.
Red Wing got one back near the ten-minute mark on a power play. Olyvia Erickson was assigned a questionable interference penalty in the corner when a Red Wing skater failed to stop properly and knocked Erickson into another Winger player. The man advantage gave Red Wing the ability to keep the puck in the Raider zone the longest time of the entire game. A shot from the left of goalie Victoria Steinke bounced through the scrum in front of her with some Winger puck luck and made its way to light the lamp.
That was be the only goal Red Wing could muster the rest of the game. 3:46 after Red Wing cut the lead in half, Muhl scored her second goal of the game to give the Raiders a 3-1 lead. Muhl was assisted by Maddy Schuster and Olyvia Erickson who earned her first varsity point. With just 14 seconds remaining in the first, Addie Seleski took a beautiful drive from center ice, weaved between two Red Wing defenders and scored to send the game to the locker room with a Raider 4-1 lead.
The first period it was very clear the Raiders had spent considerable time in the off-season doing edge work. The skating technique was much improved from last season. Their cuts and turns were clean and crisp, it was fun to watch. The only question is, how will the skating hold up against bigger, stronger and faster teams? From the looks of things in the first period, the Raiders are poised to surprise a few teams and turn some heads.
Red Wing is a young, relatively inexperienced team, but they played the Raiders much more competitively this year. Last year, Hastings clipped the Wingers quite handily, winning 14-0. This year, both teams were shut out in the second period.
With the score still 4-1, the game went into the third period and Hastings wasted no time extending the lead. Haley Siebenaler scored her first varsity goal unassisted at 1:19 into the third giving Hastings a 5-1 lead.
With five minutes expired in the third, a little bit of chaos occurred. First, Madyn Hanson went to the box for tripping, then a Red Wing player went to the box for holding 28 seconds later. Nine seconds later Maddy Schuster was called for tripping. That meant Red Wing had a 4-on-3 advantage for 1:37. That advantage proved to be on the side of Hastings as the three Raider skaters did a great job keeping the not only the puck away from Red Wing, but also in the Wingers zone. The Wingers might have had two shots on goal and Hastings probably had four or five. Unfortunately, there is no video to go back and count the shots officially, but the Raiders spent a lot of time in the Winger zone being down two skaters to one.
The final goal of the game came at the 12:55 mark of the third. Erickson, who had earned her first varsity assist in the opening period, logged her first varsity goal in the third period giving Hastings the 6-1 lead. Jade Schauer earned the assist on Ericksons goal.
The Raiders won their first contest of the season 6-1. Hastings had 41 shots on goal to the Wingers 14. Red Wing was 1-for-4 on the power play and Hastings was 0-for-2. Red Wing had three infractions for six minutes while Hastings had four infractions for eight.
The Raider defense did a great job limiting the shots on goal and of the 14 shots Steinke faced, she stopped 13, good for a .929 save percentage. Offensively, Hastings did a great job getting the puck on and into the net with Muhl leading the way with two goals. The list of firsts will be huge for the next few games for Hastings. There are a lot of younger players on the varsity roster for their first time. Petrich, Siebenaler and Erickson all had first varsity goals in this game and Steinke earned her first varsity win.
The Raiders entered the season missing two key starters from last year. Both Bree Balster and Kyra Erickson injured their knees during the soccer season and are likely out for the entire hockey season. Balster was the majority starter who traded starting time last year with Alexis Steinke, Victoria’s older sister, and Kyra Erickson was looking to be a key part of this year’s offense after coming off an 18-point season last year. Both seniors will be missed on the ice not only in games but in practices. The loss of Balster also means the Raiders only have two goalies between the JV and Varsity roster, which is the same thing the boys had last year, and they worked through it just fine as the girls will this year.
The next home game is Sat. Nov. 18 at 3:00 p.m. against Rochester Mayo. The Raiders will travel to River Falls on Nov 21 to take on St. Croix Valley at 7:00 p.m. and then return home on Nov 28 to host Apple Valley, also at 7:00 p.m.