Boys hockey: Hastings beats Park, 4-2Hastings jumped out to a 3-0 lead, watched as Park cut the lead to a goal at 3-2, and then pulled away down the stretch for a 5-2 win over the Wolfpack Thursday.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Hastings jumped out to a 3-0 lead, watched as Park cut the lead to a goal at 3-2, and then pulled away down the stretch for a 5-2 win over the Wolfpack Thursday.
Hastings got three goals and an assist from junior Austin Nelson to lead the charge.
Nelson scored his first goal at 1:47 of the first period, assisted by Cole Claussen and Eric Kasel. It was the first of three Hastings goals in the first period.
Kasel scored at 6:49, assisted by Cody Block and Nelson.
At 13:16, Nelson scored against, assisted by Tate Sykes.
While the first period belonged to Hastings, Park owned the second with two unanswered goals.
“We were moving the puck in the first,” Hastings coach Russ Welch said. “We were getting out of the zone easily and we put lots of pressure on them. We got the puck to the net and created chances.
“In the second period, they got a couple breaks here and there. We didn’t play horribly, but we made a couple mistakes and they capitalized on them.
“We battled back from there.”
Hastings held the slim 3-2 lead until 6:22 of the third period, when Max Fox scored, assisted by Nate Flynn and Andrew Lindberg.
Nelson scored the final goal, an empty-netter, at 16:23.
“Austin had his feet moving,” Welch said. “He had some jump in his skates. He made some nice plays, and was the recipient of some nice plays. When Austin gets a chance, he’s a goal scorer and he’ll put them away.”
Tom Sieh played in goal and made 22 saves.
Defensemen Tom Kuhn and Ryan Bussey drew praise from Welch for their efforts.
Hastings has a 9-13-1 overall record heading into this week’s action. The Raiders played host to Duluth East Tuesday night, and then travel to Stillwater tonight (Thursday).
The section seeding meeting is Sunday, and the postseason begins Thursday, Feb. 25.
Hastings figures to be seeded around No. 5. Likely opponents in the first round are Apple Valley, Cretin-Derham Hall or Woodbury.
The section semifinals are Saturday, Feb. 27, at the State Fair Coliseum.
Vs Forest Lake
Hastings lost a 5-1 game to Forest Lake on Saturday. Weird as this may sound, it was a very close game.
With one minute to play, Forest Lake led 3-1 and Hastings had its goalie pulled.
But with 50 seconds left, Forest Lake scored an empty-netter, and then added a goal with 14 seconds to play to win, 5-1.
Forest Lake held a 2-0 lead when Fox scored at 4:12 of the third period to pull Hastings within a goal at 2-1.
At 6:39 of the third, Forest Lake scored to go up 3-1.
“They are one of the top three or four teams in our conference, and we played right with them until the last minute of the game,” Welch said. “I was very, very happy with our performance at Forest Lake. It was a very close game.”