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HHS goes 1-1 in pair of wild games

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Two very wild games last week have the Hastings boys hockey team going through some challenging practices this week.

The wildest of the two came Saturday in Cottage Grove, where Hastings lost to Park, 6-4.

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Hastings fell behind, 3-0, after the first five minutes of play. To put it mildly, it wasn't the start that Hastings coach Russ Welch was looking for.

"We didn't show up in the first period," Welch said. "We just didn't show up. It was pretty wild."

In the second period, things were much different.

Hastings scored just 30 seconds into the period, when Nate Flynn scored, assisted by Mark Huneke.

The lead was trimmed to 3-2 at 1:03, when Tate Sykes scored a power play goal, assisted by Huneke and Blake Berg.

Then, at 8:17 of the third, Hastings tied the score on a goal by Alex Neuman, assisted by Flynn and Bailey Siewert. It was Neuman's first varsity goal.

Finally, the Raiders took the lead at 14:11 when Adam Fox scored.

"We had numerous chances to go up even more, and we couldn't score," Welch said. "Even in the second period, we just didn't play well.

Things looked good. At least, they did for 40 seconds. Park tied the score at 4-4 at 14:54.

In the third period, the Wolfpack took a 5-4 lead at 2:22 and they added an empty-netter at 16:12.

"It was not one of our better games," Welch said.

Hastings lost to Park in December, 4-3.

"It seems like Park has our number this year," Welch said. "I don't think we've lost to them in four years, then we lose two to them in one season. You have to give them credit - this is the best Park team I've seen in quite a few years."

P.J. Piotrowski played in goal for Hastings. He made 33 saves on 39 shots.

Hastings is now 9-8-2 on the season and 6-6-1 in the Suburban East Conference. Had the Raiders won against the Wolfpack, they would have jumped up to third in the conference. Instead, they are in sixth.

"If we would have got the Park game, and a couple more, we could be battling for one of the top spots in the conference," Welch said. "We still can - we just put more teams between us and that, now. That's the only problem."

Vs East Ridge

Hastings beat East Ridge on Thursday, 4-2, but it wasn't easy.

Hastings fell behind 2-0 in the second period before Mark Huneke notched a goal to make the score 2-1. He was assisted by Flynn and Siewert.

In the third period, Hastings scored three unanswered goals and won going away.

The first goal was scored by Huneke on the power play, assisted by Flynn. The goal came at 1:06.

Siewert scored at 5:52, assisted by Huneke, and Flynn scored at 10:17 on the power play, assisted by Huneke and Sykes.

The line of Flynn, Huneke and Siewert notched all four Hastings goals.

"That line was on fire," Welch said. "They complement each other well."

Lenny Weiss played in goal for Hastings. He made 34 saves on 36 shots.

"He played well back there," Welch said. "The two goals weren't really his fault."

Feb. 9 fundraiser

Hastings will be playing host to Stillwater in a game Feb. 9 here. The game will serve as a fundraiser for Defending the Blue Line, a Hastings-based organization that provides hockey equipment for the children of those serving in the armed forces.

The Raiders will be wearing the jerseys from the HHS teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Those jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, along with a Derek Stepan jersey.

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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.
(651) 319-4500
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