Raiders boys hockey improves to 3-2
Three goals in a three-minute span was all the Hastings boys hockey team would need in its win Thursday over East Ridge.
The flurry came in the first period, putting the Raiders up for good. All that, and Hastings took four penalties in the first period alone.
"Those three goals got us off to a good start," Hastings coach Russ Welch said. "We were moving our feet. We won races to the puck. We had the puck a lot."
Nate Flynn opened the scoring at 11:09. He was assisted by Andrew Lindberg and Austin Nelson.
At 13:44, Flynn added another score, this time assisted by Zach Mellick and Drew Bauer.
"Nate is playing very well," Welch said. "His whole line is playing well. His linemate, Austin Nelson, had a goal and two assists. That line did most of the damage."
Less than 30 seconds later, it was Jake Siewert's turn. He scored at 14:08, assisted by Jake Canneff and Andy Riveness.
In the second period, Nelson added his goal at 6 minutes, assisted by Flynn and Matt Koch.
Hastings took four penalties in the second period, too.
In the third period, Mellick scored his first varsity goal at 8:49. He was assisted by Nelson and Tate Sykes.
"This was one of our most solid games in the last couple of years, where we played very well from the drop of the puck until the last horn in the third period," Welch said. "We didn't really have any lapses. We had a great week of practice (leading up to the game). Our preparation all week was great. It really paid dividends on Thursday."
The lone negative was all the penalties, Welch said.
"We took too many penalties," Welch said, "but the positives definitely outweighed the negatives."
Connor Thomas played in goal and made 24 saves.
Defensively, the Raiders had a very strong night, Welch said. Despite all those penalties, Hastings didn't allow a power play goal.
"I thought our whole defensive core played very well," Welch said. "Our defense did a great job of gap control. They didn't give (East Ridge) must space to move. They did a great job."
Alumni game set
The Hastings High School alumni hockey games are planned for Thursday, Dec. 23 at the Hastings Civic Arena.
The old-timers game is at 6:30 p.m.
The alumni vs. varsity game is at 7:45 p.m.