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Girls hockey: Raiders break into rankings

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sports Hastings, 55033
Hastings Star Gazette
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Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

A 3-1 win over Park on Tuesday night helped the Hastings girls hockey team earn a statewide ranking this week. The Raiders picked up the state's No. 11 ranking in Class 2A after the win over the Wolfpack. At the time, Hastings had a 12-2-2 record.

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The game at Cottage Grove was tight throughout.

Courtney Boucher scored shorthanded for Hastings at 8:33 of the first period, unassisted, to open the scoring.

"She did a terrific job of just battling in front of the net, just not wanting to be denied," Hastings coach Jeff Corkish said. "She took a shot, got her own rebound and found room to score. It was a nice job on her part."

Kaitlin Stark scored the second goal for Hastings. It came at 12:28 of the second period on the power play.

"She ended up with the puck over by the weak-side post," Corkish said. "She grabbed the puck, brought it back on her backhand and tucked it in. It was nice to see her get some success on the power play, and to see that big smile of hers."

Stark was assisted by Jordy Klimek and Brittney Huneke.

Stark's goal gave Hastings a 2-0 lead heading into the second intermission. But less than four minutes into the third period, Park pulled to within a goal.

The game was scoreless until there were just 19 seconds remaining. Mackenzie Holm scored an empty-netter for the final margin.

"They didn't play as well as they did in the Farmington tournament, but we did what we had to do to score goals and hold on," Corkish said.

Hastings goalie Stefanie Wical made 33 saves to earn the win.

"She did a phenomenal job," Corkish said. "She's not a flashy goalie. That's what you want. She keeps it real simple and does what she is supposed to do. She doesn't get excited and out of position."

Vs White Bear Lake

On Tuesday night, the Raiders tied White Bear Lake in another Suburban East Conference matchup, 4-4.

The Bears are the No. 9 ranked team in the state.

The game went back-and-forth. White Bear had leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2.

Hastings scored two goals in a row to take a 4-3 l lead, but the Bears tied the score with just 14 seconds to play to send the game into overtime.

Danielle Meier played in goal for Hastings and made 36 saves on 40 shots.

Boucher scored two goals. Also scoring goals were Huneke and Erin Mortenson.

Assists were made by Sam Truax, Boucher, Huneke and Mortenson.

Hastings is now 12-3-3 on the season.

Vs Mounds View

Hastings lost to Mounds View on Saturday, Jan. 9, 5-4.

The Raiders were in control of the game going into the second intermission, holding a 4-2 lead to start the third period.

But at the end of the second period, Wical was hurt and had to be taken out of the game.

Meier, who just returned from an injury herself, had to step in to her first varsity action unexpectedly.

"She had only been back in the lineup for two weeks," Corkish said. "She's never played a varsity game before."

The Hastings defense had some breakdowns in the third period, Corkish said, and the Mustangs ended up getting some great looks at the goal against Meier.

"We just made some plays that turned the puck over in the wrong place," he said. "Danielle saw a couple shots off those turnovers that we shouldn't have given up. We can't allow those kinds of chances whether it is Stefanie or Danielle in goal."

Mounds View scored two third-period goals to send the game into overtime. They added a goal in overtime to win.

Hastings goals were scored by Mackenzie Klimek, Jordy Klimek, Huneke and Danielle Duffy.

Assists were made by Jordy Klimek, Huneke, Torri Holm, Boucher and Hannah Simons.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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