Raiders take third at South St. Paul tourney
The Hastings boys hockey team placed third at a tournament last week at South St. Paul. Hastings technically went 1-1-1 at the tournament, then won a shootout to claim third place.
The tournament started with a 4-1 win over Woodbury.
"We played fairly well in that one," coach Russ Welch said. "We had all three lines going."
Zach Mellick got Hastings on the scoreboard with a goal at 3:46 of the first period. He was assisted by Blake Berg and Bailey Siewert.
In the second period, Andrew Bussey gave Hastings a 2-0 lead when he scored at 7:15. He was assisted by Matt Flynn and Mark Huneke.
Hastings added two more goals in the third period. Siewert scored, assisted by Mellick and David McConnell. Then, at 12:31, Berg scored on the power play, assisted by Siewert and Brandon Boogren.
Matt Radke played in goal and made 13 saves on 14 shots.
That Radke only saw 14 shots in the game was evidence of just how well the Hastings defense played, Welch said.
Matt Koch, a captain, has had a strong year thus far on the blue line.
"He has been playing outstanding," Welch said. "He is our leader back there."
Jake Caneff, David McConnell, Brandon Boogren and Andy Neuman have also had strong years on defense.
"Those guys have really been the rock of our team back there on defense," Welch said. "Overall, they've done a great job so far this year."
Hastings lost to Hermantown in the tournament's second game, 8-3.
Hermantown is among the top five teams in Class A.
"They are big, strong and fast," Welch said. "In the first period, we had trouble adjusting to their size and their speed. We were down 4-0 in the first period. That was a wakeup call. After that, we played them 4-3 the rest of the game and did a lot better."
Goals for Hastings were scored by Caneff, Flynn and Mellick.
Assists were made by Bussey, Berg and Siewert.
Vs New Prague
In the tournament's final game, Hastings and New Prague tied 2-2. In a shootout to decide which team placed third in the tournament, Hastings won, 2-1.
Hastings outshot New Prague in the game, 47-16.
"Their goalie was phenomenal," Welch said. "We had so many point-blank shots. So many golden opportunities to score. We just couldn't get it by the kid."
Berg and Koch had goals for Hastings. Assists were made by Siewert, McConnell and Flynn.
In the shootout, Huneke and Flynn scored.
Tyler Woyke played in goal for Hastings and made 14 saves on 16 shots, including a big one in the shootout.
"He made a great save, where he fell back and got his paddle down," Welch said. "He dove back and stopped it with his paddle. It was a great save."
So far this season
Hastings is 6-3-1 through its first 10 games.
"Right now, we're two points out of first place in the Suburban East Conference," Welch said. "We feel good about that. The problem is, in our next five games we play four of the top five teams in our conference, and they're on the road. We'll see what we are made of right away."