Hastings still at fourth-place in SEC
The Hastings boys hockey team turned a tight game with the No. 3 ranked team in the Suburban East Conference into a blowout thanks to a rally started on a short-handed goal.
With Hastings leading 1-0 midway through Saturday's game against Roseville, Hastings took a penalty and Roseville went on the power play.
It was Hastings, though, who scored. Nate Flynn scored at 8:01 and Hastings went up 2-0.
"That was a big goal," Hastings coach Russ Welch said." That broke their back a little bit. That goal was really the difference in the game."
Hastings scored three third-period goals and ended up winning 4-1.
Hastings got on the board just 15 seconds in to the first period, when Austin Nelson scored, assisted by Nate Flynn.
Nelson scored his second goal at 14:51 on the power play, assisted by Flynn and Zach Mellick.
Roseville made the score 3-1 with a goal at 15:20, but less than a minute later, Hastings scored again.
At 16:11, Nelson scored an empty-netter, assisted by Mellick. It was the fourth hat trick of the season for Nelson.
"He's having a very good year," Welch said. "He's a scorer. It's hard to find goal scorers, but he is one."
P. J. Piotrowski got the win in goal for the Raiders.
"He played very well," Welch said. "Outstanding. He had a very good game. He kept himself well balanced and didn't give them any rebounds."
Hastings had 32 shots on goal. Roseville had 24.
Hastings has a 4-1 record in their last five games.
Hastings lost to Cretin-Derham Hall on Thursday, 2-1.
Hastings took a 1-0 lead at 9:35 on a goal by Austin Nelson, assisted by Jake Siewert and Tate Sykes.
Cretin scored goals at 10:15 and 14:46 to take a 2-1 lead, which held up.
Connor Thomas started the game in goal but was injured late in the first period. He pulled a groin muscle and should return to action soon.
With Piotrowski home sick, Welch turned to junior Lenny Weiss, who shut out C-DH the rest of the way.
Cretin had 26 shots on goal.
Hastings had 16.
"We just had trouble getting out of our zone at times, and generating offense," Welch said. "That was really the difference. We just couldn't generate enough offense. They had a lot more good chances than we did."
Hastings is still tied for fourth in the conference.
White Bear Lake leads with 25 points. Stillwater has 24 and Roseville has 18.
Hastings, Cretin-Derham Hall and Forest Lake each have 14 points.
Park, which is 0-13-1 in the SEC this year, comes to Hastings for a game tonight (Thursday).
"They're kind of dangerous," Welch said. "They haven't won a game yet in the conference, and they've played a lot of teams tough. That's going to be a very dangerous game for us. We'll have to be ready for them."