Hastings boys hockey team comes back to beat Park, 3-2
Here’s the good news: The Hastings boys hockey team outshot its opponents 77-38 in three games at a holiday tournament in South St. Paul.
Here’s the bad news: Hastings won only one of those games.
“We just had trouble getting the puck in the net,” coach Russ Welch said. “To come away with only one win was disheartening. It wasn’t the goaltending. We gave up 10 goals, and one was an empty net. There was one bad goal out of the other nine. We just had some breakdowns that led to some easy opportunities for them, but for the most part we played very well in the tournament.”
Hastings opened play on Dec. 26 with a 6-4 loss to Woodbury.
Hastings led 2-1 in the second period, but the Royals got two shots on net in the period and scored on both of them.
Hastings outshot Woodbury 12-2 in that period and got outscored 2-0.
Hastings got goals from Blake Berg, Andy Neuman, Colin Shoen and Mike Junker. Assists were made by Shoen, Jake Otto, Berg (3), Matt Flynn, Jacob Cooper and Mark Huneke.
Tyler Woyke played in goal and made seven saves on 12 shots. Hastings finished with 22 shots on goal.
Hastings then faced New Prague and lost 2-1.
Hastings outshot the Trojans 27-12, but the New Prague goalie had a very strong outing and shut down Hastings.
“The goaltending was great in the New Prague game,” Welch said. “The New Prague goalie (Conner Wagner) robbed us of four great chances. The other ones, we either missed the net or we fanned on it and didn’t get a great shot on it. We had empty nets to shoot at and didn’t score.”
Hastings got its goal from Berg. Assists were made by Flynn and Huneke.
The tournament’s final game was a 4-2 win over Red Wing.
Hastings built a 3-0 lead before the Wingers came back to make it 3-2 in the third period.
Cooper had two goals and Ben Klimek scored his first varsity goal to give the Raiders the lead. After the Wingers trimmed the lead to one goal, Huneke scored a goal at 16:50 to put the game away.
Assists were made by Berg (two), Shoen, Austin Houska, Sam Otto and Ryan Tix.
Hastings outshot Red Wing 28-14 in the game.
Hastings pulled to within a win of being .500 with a 3-2 win over Park on Saturday. Hastings is now 6-7-1 on the season.
The Raiders trailed 2-0 at the 13:27 mark of the first period, but Neuman added a goal at 14:43 to make it 2-1 heading into the first intermission. He was assisted by Cooper and Berg.
“We didn’t make good passes and we got down, 2-0,” Welch said.
The game remained scoreless until the third period. At 3:26, Huneke scored on the power play, assisted by Flynn and Berg, to tie the score.
Tix scored the game-winner at 10:03, assisted by Houska and Otto.
“In the third period, we played very well,” Welch said. “We dominated the third period and came back to win. We just handled the puck better. We had taken four days off and it was our first game back. It didn’t seem like we were in sync. It took us about half a game to get our act together and start making plays.”
Radke earned the win for Hastings with 20 saves on 22 shots. Hastings had 34 shots on goal.
Welch said he’s happy with what he’s seen from his team so far this season.
“We feel OK,” he said. “We probably should have won another game or two, but we’ve improved. We’ve shown a great deal of improvement from the beginning of the year to now. Now we just have finish and win the close games like we did on Saturday.”
Berg’s big stretch
The last few weeks have been big ones for senior forward Blake Berg.
In the past seven games, he has three goals and 11 assists for 14 points.