HHS earns big win over WBLThat the Hastings boys hockey team is finding its stride, if you will, was certainly evident Saturday. Hastings beat White Bear Lake, 3-1, handing the Bears their first loss in the Suburban East Conference this season.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
That the Hastings boys hockey team is finding its stride, if you will, was certainly evident Saturday. Hastings beat White Bear Lake, 3-1, handing the Bears their first loss in the Suburban East Conference this season.
“That was a big win for us,” coach Russ Welch said. “We played good defense and had some excellent goaltending by P.J. Piotrowski. He had an outstanding game for us. So far, that’s the biggest win of the year for us. We were very, very proud of the way the boys played.”
Hastings is 6-7-2 on the season and 3-1-2 in its last six.
“Our guys are starting to come together as a team,” Welch said. “They’re starting to figure some things out. I hope we can keep this ride going a little bit longer. We’re feeling good that the kids are making progress and that they are coming together.”
The win on Saturday was magnified by a very successful fundraiser. All of Saturday’s conference games were played in Cottage Grove, and all the SEC teams worked together on a fundraiser for Coaches Helping Eliminate Cancer in Kids. Hastings raised $842, which was less than what White Bear Lake raised, so Welch had to wear a Bears jersey for the first period of the game.
In all, more than $10,000 was raised by the SEC teams.
Back to the game: Hastings took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a strong goal set up by Zach Mellick. He picked up the puck in the defensive end of the ice and brought it through the neutral zone. He dumped the puck in and put it off the boards. Mellick raced after the puck, backhanded it to Colin Schoen who then beat the goalie for his first varsity goal.
The goal came at 8:52 of the first period.
In the second period, Hastings added two more goals. At 9:26, Mark Huneke scored, assisted by Nate Flynn.
The third goal came at 13:14, when Andrew Bussey scored, assisted by Tyler Mellick.
The Bears scored their goal at 15:17 on the power play. They had pulled their goalie, too, so they had a 6-on-4 advantage.
As for Piotrowski, he made 37 saves on 38 shots.
“He was on his game,” Welch said. “He was sharp. He was moving crisply. He was very tough back there.”
Hastings plays at Mounds View tonight (Thursday) and then returns home for a 3 p.m. game Saturday against Roseville. Roseville has a 6-2-1 record in the league and is just behind White Bear Lake in the standings.
Vs Forest Lake
The lone blemish in Hastings’ recent action is a 3-1 loss to Forest Lake on Thursday.
The Rangers have a 5-4 record in league play.
“We played OK against them,” Welch said. “It wasn’t a great game by us. We had a couple breakdowns that gave them goals. Other than that, I thought we played pretty well. We weren’t totally disappointed with the loss. Overall, we saw progress against a good team.”
Lenny Weiss played in goal for Hastings and he made 31 saves on 34 shots.
Flynn scored the Hastings goal in the third period with Hastings trailing 3-0 at the time.