Hockey girls ousted from section tournamentLast season, the Hastings girls hockey team finished with six wins. This year’s team just concluded its season with a 16-8-3 record, a significant improvement from the 2008-09 season.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Last season, the Hastings girls hockey team finished with six wins.
This year’s team just concluded its season with a 16-8-3 record, a significant improvement from the 2008-09 season.
But Hastings will be stuck thinking about the one that got away for much of the upcoming offseason.
Saturday night in the section semifinals, Hastings lost to the Burnsville Blaze, 6-4. The game was 2-2 heading into the third period.
“When you play a good team like Burnsville, you’re not allowed to make many mistakes,” Hastings coach Jeff Corkish said. “We made a few, and they capitalized on them.
“The girls all played their hearts out. The bounces didn’t go the way we wanted them to. They couldn’t have played harder. They gave everything they had. We were very proud of them. This is just the way it goes.”
Burnsville notched the first score of the game at 7:01 of the first period on the power play.
Hastings, though, countered less than three minutes later. Mackenzie Klimek scored at 9:41 to tie the game.
In the second period, Burnsville took the lead back at 3:57.
With less than a minute to play in the second period, though, Hastings tied the score again. Torri Holm scored on the power play, assisted by Kaitlin Stark and Jordy Klimek.
Then came the third period. From the start, it got off on the wrong foot. Burnsville scored at 1:11 after a controversial play. A referee waived off an icing call, something that Corkish couldn’t believe.
“The kids put so much time in, they deserve to have the easy calls made right,” he said. “We’ll put up with judgement calls on penalties, and things like that. That’s part of the game.
“The icing calls are the easy calls. They miss them all the time.”
When the puck was sent down the ice, Hastings players let up and went to make a line change, figuring icing would be called. It wasn’t, and the Blaze capitalized, taking the lead at 3-2.
The deficit changed the way Hastings played.
“When you get behind, you have to pressure a bit to see if you can catch up,” Corkish said. “When you do that, you leave yourself open. They capitalized on a couple turnovers when we were pressing.”
Burnsville got the momentum, and scored at 3:49, short-handed, to take a 4-2 lead.
At 4:25, though, Hastings’ Courtney Boucher scored at 4:25 to bring the Raiders back to within a goal at 4-3.
At 14:07, though, Burnsville scored to go up 5-3.
Corkish pulled his goalie, Stefanie Wical, and Burnsville scored an empty-netter at 14:31 to make it 6-3.
Boucher scored again at 16:24, assisted by Klimek and Klimek.
Corkish was thrilled with the progress his team showed this season.
“Our kids played phenomenal hockey,” Corkish said. “They were gutsy. They played with a lot of courage and guts. They kept coming back. It just didn’t work out.
“The kids had high expectations. We had high expectations. We were hoping to go to the state tournament. We came across a pretty darn good team with a lot of offensive skill. We knew we had a good chance of winning. It just didn’t happen that night.”
Vs South Washington County
Hastings almost didn’t make it out of the first round of the section tournament. The Raiders eked out a 3-2 triple-overtime win over the South Washington County Royal Raptors (a co-op between Woodbury and East Ridge players).
Hastings, the No. 2-seed, fell behind to the Royal Raptors, the No. 7-seed, in the first period. Through one period, Hastings was down, 2-0.
“We were anxious, that’s for sure,” Corkish said. “We gave them a couple chances right away that they buried. Once the first period was over, our kids had the time to collect themselves. We hammered them the rest of the way.”
In the second, Hastings started chipping away at the lead. HHS junior Robbie Scherer scored, assisted by Mackenzie Klimek, at 13:03 of the second to make the score 2-1.
In the third period, junior Brittney Huneke scored at 10:42 on the power play to tie the game. She was assisted by Jordy Klimek and Mackenzie Klimek.
The game-winner was scored at 5:02 of the third overtime by Huneke, assisted by Natalie Simons and Danielle Duffy.
Hastings out-shot the Royal Raptors 49-26.
“We had a ton of shots,” Corkish said. “We just couldn’t get it across the goal line. We got chance after chance after chance.”
The game-winning goal by Huneke was scored on what looked like an impossible shot to Corkish.
“She got the puck on the back post and didn’t have much of an angle,” Corkish said. “She put it up over the goalie. I don’t think she even realized it went in right away. She saw it and lost her mind. The coaches. The fans. The radio guy. Everybody was screaming. That was pretty good.”