Hockey Day Minnesota 2024 took place in Warroad, but the Raider boys held their own outdoor hockey game that same day against the co-op of Apple Valley/Burnsville, a game they won 3-2 in overtime. …
Hockey Day Minnesota 2024 took place in Warroad, but the Raider boys held their own outdoor hockey game that same day against the co-op of Apple Valley/Burnsville, a game they won 3-2 in overtime. This was not their only overtime game for the week. The first took place just two days earlier, a 2-1 heartbreaking loss to the conference leaders, Two Rivers.
The first game of the week was a road trip to Rochester to take on Mayo where the Raiders outshot the Spartans 38-23 in the 3-1 victory. Thomas McGinnis picked up his first goal of the season to kick things off for Hastings. Brayden Krauth and Brody Carlson each earned a point for the assist to McGinnis at 4:41 in the first.
Mayo tied the game early in the second, but Hastings regained the lead for good off the stick of Brody Geib. Sawyer Zaruba and Luke Wahlstrom assisted Geib with his goal at 12:42. Will Savage logged the insurance goal at 7:25 in the third with a pass from Wahlstrom to give the Raiders the 3-1 win.
Ryan Clemens earned the win in net stopping 22 of the 23 shots he faced for a .957 goals-against average. The Raiders had two penalties for four minutes to Mayo’s three penalties for six minutes. The win on Tuesday moved the Raiders to 12-6 on the season with two tough conference games left.
Thursday, Two Rivers entered the conference game at 6-1 in the conference to the Raiders 3-3. Blake Vandehoef won the opening faceoff and Connor Zgoda took the pass right to the Warrior’s goal, scoring just 11 seconds into the game. Two Rivers tied the game at 13:36 and the regulation scoring stopped there.
Brooks Smyrski and the Raider defense did a great job holding off the Warrior’s onslaught as did Brady Altier and the Warrior defense holding off the Raiders. Hastings led the shots on goal category for most of the game but the Warriors soon displayed why they are the top team in the Metro East Conference.
With just a few minutes left in the third, Two Rivers attacked aggressively and that carried into the overtime period. For a solid eight minutes, Two Rivers held the Raiders without a shot on goal, including five minutes of the overtime period before the Warriors won the game at 5:03.
Smyrski stopped 30 of the 32 shots faced for a goals-against average of .938. There were no penalties listed on the official stat sheet at press time, but there were several penalties called during the game.
The Raiders opted to move their game against Apple Valley/Burnsville to the SCHEELS Rink at the United Heroes League to be part of the rest of the outdoor games for Hockey Day Minnesota which was held in Warroad this year.
The first period had no goals in a very good back-and-forth game. 2:11 into the second, Vandehoef and Zgoda connected with Ryder Regenscheid for the first goal of the game. The Eagles tied the game late in the second then took the lead early in the third, 2-1. Hastings managed to tie the game with just 53 seconds left in the third, forcing their second overtime game of the week.
The eight-minute overtime period played out like much of the game before it, a lot of back and forth. Zgoda and Harris connected with Vandehoef for the buzzer-beater at 7:59 into the overtime period for the last-second Raider win.
Smyrski stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced for a .923 goals-against average with the Raiders logging 30 shots on goal. Both teams had just two penalties for four minutes. Hastings scored on one of the power plays and the Eagles scored on both.
The win solidified the Raider’s position in the section rankings at seventh for now with one section game left at St. Thomas Academy on Feb. 3 at 2:00 p.m. Hastings then travels to Chisago Lakes on Feb. 6 for a 6:30 game, followed by a trip to Mahtomedi on Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m.