Girls Hockey: A close to perfect November
The Raiders were not perfect in the month of November.
But nobody beat them either.
The?Hastings High School girls hockey team finished its five-game November schedule last week with a big win against its rival.
The?Raiders cruised to a 4-1 win against Park of Cottage Grove last Tuesday to finish the month 3-0-2 and start the Suburban East Conference season with a win.
"The kids played pretty well,"?Hastings head coach Jeff Corkish said. "They came out hard and played a complete game."
Because the team has worked hard in its first five games, Corkish was happy the team will get a week off between games.
"We have been going at it for about five weeks now, and this gives the kids time to get caught up on their schoolwork and rest," he said. "Now we can come back and get at it refreshed."
Against Park, the Raiders grinded out the 4-1 win behind two goals from two players.
Senior?Taylor Reiners netted the first two goals of the game, and junior Jordy Klimek netted the last two.
Klimek's final goal gave the Raiders a 4-0 lead in the third period, and Hastings was only 49 seconds away from picking up the shutout win before Park managed to score.
In the win, eight Raiders recorded points, something Corkish said before the season they needed to do.
"You are never sure who is going to step up,"?Corkish said. "Every night, it seems like it's somebody different helping out on the score sheet."
So far this season, the Raiders have six girls who have scored multiple goals in only five games.
Klimek leads the team in goals (4), assists?(7) and points (11), but five other Raiders have put up four or more points so far this season.
And while the Raiders are scoring across the board, it's been the defense that has really picked up recently for the team.
Since allowing three goals in the second period against Burnsville, the Raiders have allowed only two goals since. That stretch spans seven regular periods and two overtime periods.
"After (the Burnsville) game, we had a conversation and the kids made a decision to by into the coaching philosophy for what the team wanted to accomplish,"?Corkish said. "We were thinking offense before defense and too many times, we were giving up odd-man rushes and turnovers.
"We have had more of a team concept since having that conversation.
The strong defensive play showed up against Park, when the Raiders allowed just 17 shots on net.
Senior Liz Callahan picked up her third win in net this season.
Callahan made 16 saves and is having a nice season so far. In five games, she has a 1.99 goals-against average and is stopping .922 percent of the shots she sees.
The Raiders played their second SEC?game of the season Tuesday, after Star Gazette press time.
Hastings returns to the ice against Cretin-Derham Hall at 3 p.m. Saturday at Highland Ice Arena.