By Derek Simon [email protected] The Hastings girls’ Hockey team finished up their regular season schedule with three games this week. The Raider hosted the Sibley/St. Paul Riveters on …
By Derek Simon
The Hastings girls’ Hockey team finished up their regular season schedule with three games this week. The Raider hosted the Sibley/St. Paul Riveters on Wednesday night, travelled to Simley to play the Spartans on Friday night, before finishing the season at home against North/Tartan for Senior Night on Saturday. The Raiders entered the week with a 6-9 overall record.
Hastings started out strong against Sibley/St Paul as Lauren Hubbart scored just 1:13 into the game to give the Raiders the early lead. Assists to McKenna Benson and Lexi Ramsbacher. The Raiders would strike again at 3:05 as Kiki Radant put the puck by the Riveters goaltender to give Hastings a 2-0 lead. Assists to Aryana Klaren and Kaitlin Petrich. The Riveters answered at 9:05 to complete the scoring in the first period. Hastings led 2-1 and had a huge 15-3 advantage in shots.
The Riveters scored at 2:18 of the second period to tie the score and then take the lead at 4:04 on the power play. Hastings again dominated the play the rest of the period but were held off the scoreboard in the second period. Hastings outshot Sibley/St. Paul 16-5 in the second period.
The third period started out similarly to the second period. The Riveters scored at 4:03 to take a 4-2 lead. The Raiders answered at 13:04 when Ireland Zaruba scored. A single assist to Ramsbacher. The Riveters then added an empty net goal at 15:21 to complete the surprise victory 5-3. Hastings again held a large advantage in the period in shots 16-5. The Raiders outshot the Riveters 47-13 for the game in the loss. A tough loss for the team as they dominated play for large stretches of the game.
The Raiders would try to put the loss behind them when they travelled to Inver Grove Heights to play a tough Simley team. The Spartans entered the matchup with a 9-6-2 record. Simley had defeated Hastings back in January 3-1.
The Raiders would turn to Nicole Vander Heyden between the pipes against the Spartans. The Spartans started the game with a strong suffocating forecheck that gave the Raiders all sorts of troubles. When the Raiders were not turning the puck over, they would chip and the puck out and need to change lines. While the Spartans were in control of the period, the Raiders defense and goaltending were able to keep the game scoreless after the first period. Simley held a 13-5 shots advantage.
The second period saw Simley continue where they left off in the first period. After the Raiders took a penalty, sophomore Ella Tuccitto took over the game for the Spartans on senior night. Tuccitto banged home a rebound on the power play at 5:09 to give Simley the lead. She then would score again at 7:10 and 9:57 to complete the natural hat trick in just under five minutes. At 13:38 Simley scored again on the power play to take a 4-0 lead. Tuccitto had the primary assist on the goal. Simley then scored their fifth goal of the period at 14:22. Simley led 5-0 after two periods. The Spartans outshot the Raiders 10-2 in the period.
The third period was the Raiders best period of the game. Hastings would create more offensive chances and seven shots in the period. Despite the chances, the Raiders were unable to put a shot past the Spartan goaltender. Simley also was scoreless in the third period while accumulating 10 shots on net. The Spartans win the game 5-0 outshooting the Raiders 33-14 in the game.
Hastings played its final regular season game on Saturday against North/Tartan. Hastings would celebrate the contributions of nine seniors: Jaida Hanson, Aryana Klaren, Lexi Ramsbacher, Brynne Jorgenson, Kaitlin Petrich, Isabelle Riches, Maddie Dick, Jamie Kennedy, and McKenna Benson.
The Raiders turned Alexis Steinke, for her first varsity start of the season. The Raiders started out strong in the first period. Junior Lauren Skov put the Raiders on top at 6:36 with an unassisted goal. Then at 9:20 Hanson scored to give Hastings a 2-0 lead. Assists to Ramsbacher and Petrich. Hastings led 2-0 after the first period and held a 12-7 advantage in shots.
The second period was more even as Hastings and North/Tartan would chances without a goal. At 16:46, just fourteen seconds before the end of the period, North/Tartan scored to cut the lead in half at 2-1. Hastings had a 9-8 shots advantage in the second period.
The third period saw North/Tartan continue the momentum they received from their late second period goal. Hastings held them off until 12:11 when North/Tartan tied the score. Neither team was able to break the tie and the teams would head to an overtime period. North/Tartan outshot Hastings 10-4 in the third period.
Hastings regrouped after the break and controlled most of the overtime as they had four of the five shots on goal. At 3:55, Zaruba sent Hastings fans home happy scoring the game winner. Assists to Klaren and Makayla Berquist. Hastings wins a thrilling 3-2 game on Senior night. Hastings outshoots North/Tartan 29-26 for the game. Steinke gets the win with 24 saves.
The Raiders were seeded 7th in the section playoffs and will play the 2nd seeded Eastview Lightning in the first round on Tuesday March 16th . If the Raiders are able to upset the Lightning, they would advance to take on the winner of 3rd seeded Rosemount and 6th seeded Eagan on Thursday March 18th.
Kiki Radant finds the back of the net on a breakaway, beating Riveter goalie Ellynor Haack with a move that clearly had her frustrated. Photo by Bruce Karnick