Raiders edge Ponies and Wolfpack
The Hastings boys hockey team improved to 9-6-1 on the season with a big 8-5 win over Park on Saturday afternoon in Hastings. The win came thanks in large part to a quick start and a furious finish.
Hastings took a 3-0 lead after one period.
Bailey Siewert, Andrew Bussey and Mark Huneke each had goals for Hastings. The goal by Bussey, assisted by Matt Koch and Jake Caneff, came on the power play. First-period assists were also recorded by Matt Flynn and Bussey. Koch also recorded an assist on Huneke's goal.
In the second period, Park did the only scoring.
In the third period, the scoring floodgates opened for both teams.
Park made it 3-2 when they scored just 94 seconds into the period.
Hastings went back up by two goals when Joe Shingledecker scored at 2:57, assisted by Mike Junker.
Park narrowed the gap again, making it 4-3 at 6:13.
Blake Berg put Hastings back out by two at 8:56.
But just nine seconds later, Park scored again, making it 5-4.
Zach Mellick scored 12 seconds later, making it 6-4. He was assisted by Huneke and Koch.
A whole three minutes were played before another puck found its way in the net, and it was Park that broke the relative silence, pulling to within one goal, again, at 6-5.
Colin Shoen scored at 13:32, assisted by Junker, and Hastings went up 7-5.
Huneke added a goal at 16:15, assisted by Koch.
Tyler Woyke played in goal and made 26 saves on 31 shots.
Hastings is now in third place in the Suburban East Conference with a 7-4 record.
Mounds View leads the league at 8-2-2.
Cretin-Derham Hall is 8-3.
Hastings beat Stillwater on Thursday night, 5-4.
"We played very well, from beginning to end," coach Russ Welch said. "It was one of our better games technically - we were doing all the little things right."
After a scoreless first period, Stillwater got on the board at 1:33 of the second period.
Hastings countered, though, getting a goal at 6:31 by Mark Huneke, assisted by Andrew Bussey. At 12:44, Blake Berg scored, assisted by Matt Flynn, and the Raiders went up, 2-1.
One minute later, though, Stillwater tied the score.
In the third period, Hastings got the first two goals, taking a 4-2 lead.
Bussey scored 28 seconds into the period, assisted by Andy Neuman and Brandon Boogren. At 3:39, Huneke scored, assisted by Zach Mellick.
Stillwater scored at 14:54, but Hastings went back up by two, 5-3, when Zach Mellick scored at 16:20.
The Ponies added a goal at 16:48 to make the final 5-4.
"The last three minutes got kind of crazy, but it was a good game for us," Welch said.
Huneke had two goals against Park and one assist. Against Stillwater, he had another two goals. He was the team's second-leading scorer last year, and that scoring experience is showing its worth this year.
"He's having a very good year for us," Welch said. "He had been playing center all year, and we just moved him to wing, and he got a couple more goals. We had kept the same lines for quite a while. We thought things were starting to get stale. We moved a few guys around, and put them in different positions to get us jumpstarted again. It seemed to work (against Stillwater)."
Woyke played in goal and earned the win.
"He was fairly solid back there," Welch said. "There were a few shots he didn't have a chance on."
He was helped out in a big way by the Hastings defense.
"Our defense had a very good night," Welch said. "All five of them played very solid. As a unit, it was probably one of their better games."
The defense is made up primarily of Koch, Caneff, David McConnell, Brandon Boogren and Andy Neuman.
Hastings plays host to White Bear Lake at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) in another SEC matchup.
On Saturday, the Raiders travel to East Ridge, and on Tuesday they play host to Crookston in a non-conference game.