By Derek Simon [email protected] The Hastings Raiders varsity girls hockey team was on a high after winning their first two games of the season last week. The Raiders were 2-5 overall and 1-3 in …
By Derek Simon
The Hastings Raiders varsity girls hockey team was on a high after winning their first two games of the season last week. The Raiders were 2-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play. The Raiders where at home Wednesday night for a rematch against the Mahtomedi Zephyrs. Mahtomedi had won the previous meeting this year 3-2 at the Tria Rink in St. Paul. Mahtomedi entered the game with a 3-4 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the Metro East Conference.
Hastings carried their newfound confidence into the game and at :38 of the first period, Lauren Skov put a shot by the Zephyrs for a 1-0 lead. Assists to Jaida Hanson and Madyn Hanson. Three minutes later, with Hastings on the Power Play, Kiki Radant found the back of the net at 3:44 to give the Raiders the early 2-0 lead. Assists to Lexi Ramsbacher and Kaitlin Petrich. Hastings continued to pressure Mahtomedi’s young keeper and at 14:42 of the first period, Kylie Gruden scored on the power play for the Raiders. Assists to CC Bernard and Lauren Hubbart. Hastings led 3-0 after the first period outshooting Mahtomedi 12-6.
“Clean it up. We got to clean it up. It’s getting ugly right now it’s a little messy,” Head Coach Tim Duggan said when he stopped for a quick update of his message headed into the locker room. “If we just clean it up, then it’s our game.”
The Raiders had two powerplays in the first period.
“The first power play was really good. I liked it. And then the second power play, they attacked us more so we’ve got to be more patient. And, you know, just kind of, it was kind of a bad goal, that third one, but we’ll take it. But it just goes to show throwing it on net and anything can happen but, that’s got to get cleaned up for sure,” Coach Duggan said.
The Zephyrs came out strong early in the second period and were able to get a goal by Raiders goalie Lauren Dubej at 3:44 of the second period. The goal trimmed the Raiders lead to 3-1. Hastings, however, was unfazed by the Zephyrs charge, and just over a minute later, Kaitlin Petrich scored on an assist from Ireland Zaruba to regain a three-goal lead at 4-1. The Raiders would add another goal at 8:15 of the period when Radant scored again. Assists to Zaruba and Petrich. The Raiders led 5-1 after two periods. With their early period assault, the Zephyrs held a 14-8 lead in shots in the period.
Mahtomedi again got off to a good start in the third period and scored at 2:10 of the third period to cut the lead to 5-2. Once again, the Raiders would not let the Zephyrs back in the game. This time Radant completed her hat trick with a goal at 4:35. The unassisted, coast to coast goal, gave Hastings the 6-2 lead. Hastings added another goal at 8:12 as Jaida Hanson scored. A single assist was awarded to Skov on the goal. Hastings would add another goal at 14:30 from Makayla Berquist. Assists to Gruden and Bernard. The Raiders cruise to an 8-2 victory, their third straight win. Hastings outshoots Mahtomedi 11-8 in the period and 31-28 in the game.
Hastings sophomore defender Kiki Radant had a career night for the Raiders, logging her first ever varsity hat-trick, “It made me feel pretty great. I’ve been working hard for a couple years now, as a unit we all work well together,” Radant said after the game.
Tell the readers about the third goal that gave you the hattrick, “I wish I could remember it,” she laughed. “I remember the second goal! It was barely a shot and then it just went in,” Radant said, continuing to laugh.
During the intermissions, what was Coach Duggan’s message?
“He said we’re doing good we just got to keep rolling and told us to work it on the half wall. Work around them players. Then later in the game they started pulling players out of the zone, so we got to work in a little. Like the D to switch from one being up and one being high to having one come in the zone.”
After this season, Radant will be considered a veteran on the team and she is ready for that title.
“I’m looking forward to all the younger players coming in, being their mentor because next year I’ll be an upperclassman so I kinda like the look up and I just want to make them feel comfortable because I remember my first year as eighth graders. It was tough because I was scared with all these older girls, but they made me feel so comfortable so that’s what I want to do with the younger girls coming in,” Radant said.
38 seconds into the game, Lauren Skov found the back of the net on a pass from Jaida Hanson.
“Jaida came up the right side, the D took her, I was open right in the slot. She hit me and I shot it on net,” Skov said.
Unfortunately, from a scoring standpoint, the rest of the game would be quiet for Skov until she returned the favor in the third period connecting with Hanson on her goal. At the time, Hanson’s goal was announced as ‘unassisted’ but Skov said otherwise.
“They didn’t count it as an assist but, I got it, I got that,” she laughed. The assist was added later to the score sheet giving Skov the single assist on the goal.
What was coaches’ message at the second intermission?
“He was in a good mood. He was good he was proud of how we were playing. He didn’t have much to critique. It’s a lot about focusing on our breakouts and our D coverage but he was pretty proud of us,” Skov added.
Skov then talked about how it feels to win three in a row.
“Pretty good! It hasn’t happened yet this year and we hope to continue it on Saturday. We’re fired up!”
On Saturday, the Raiders welcomed South St. Paul to Hastings for another Metro East matchup. The Packers were 5-2 over all and 2-0 in conference play. The Packers came into the game with a three-game winning streak of their own, all by shutout.
South St. Paul and Hastings battled through a first period with not much offense as the teams were trying to figure each other out. The Packers would score the only goal or the period at 15:08 to lead 1-0. They outshot the Raiders 5-4 in the period. The second period would be scoreless, but South St. Paul started to assert themselves outshooting Hastings in the second period 10-4. The third period started out much as the second had, with the Packers holding an edge in shots, but Dubej and the Raiders defense holding them at one goal. That would change when South St. Paul would score three times late in the game at 10:34, 12:22, and 16:19 to pull away to win 4-0. The Packers out shot the Raiders 13-5 in the third period and 28-13 for the game.
Hastings will host Hopkins/Park on Friday February the 19th in another non-conference game, before returning to Metro East play on Tuesday the 23rd when they travel to West St. Paul to take on Henry Sibley/St. Paul. The Raiders are now 3-6 on the season and 2-4 in conference, good for 5th place.
Raider goalie Lauren Dubej pushes a rebound to the side of the goal crease to prevent a second scoring chance in the Raiders 8-2 win over Mahtomedi on Wednesday night. Photo by Bruce Karnick