Goals aplenty -- by the wrong team
Up until this week, the Hastings boys hockey team had a 6-6-1 record, with all six of those losses coming by one goal.
That trend disappeared, though, with tough losses to Eagan and Stillwater this week.
Hastings lost to Eagan, 7-3, and then Stillwater, 7-1.
Eagan is one of the state's top teams.
"That was a tough game," Hastings coach Russ Welch said. "We gave up a couple goals, and then a couple bad goals. Eagan is just very good. We had a great effort. They were just bigger, stronger and faster."
Eagan scored four first-period goals.
Hastings added one from Nate Flynn, who scored on the power play. He was assisted by Austin Nelson and Andrew Lindberg.
In the second period, the Wildcats added two goals.
Hastings notched one, a score by Nelson, assisted by Flynn and Zach Mellick.
Nelson scored, assisted by Mellick and Flynn, in the third period.
A rough five-minute stretch in the second period doomed Hastings in a Suburban East Conference matchup with Stillwater. The final was 7-1.
The game was scoreless after one period.
"We played a great first period," Welch said. "We held them to one shot."
The Ponies scored four goals in less than five minutes to put their game against the Raiders away.
"They got those four goals early in the second, and it was all over after that," Welch said. "When they made it 5-1, it was over."
The past three games have been rough ones for the Hastings defense, Welch said.
"Our forwards, our defensemen and our goaltending haven't been very good in our own end," he said. "We have struggled in all aspects of our defense. It starts with our forwards, then its our defensemen, then its our goalie."
Hastings is also in a very difficult part of its schedule. Couple that with some defensive struggles, and things haven't looked bright lately.
"It's a combination of all those things," Welch said. "There's no doubt about it.
"We're working on team defense this week. That's what we're trying to stress: it's not just defensemen and goalies playing defense. That's what our focus is this week."