Raiders start SEC season with win over StillwaterThe Suburban East Conference season got off to a great start this week for the Hastings boys hockey team. The Raiders earned a big 2-1 win over Stillwater in the SEC opener for both teams and then, on Tuesday, Hastings scored a huge 7-3 win over White Bear Lake.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
The Suburban East Conference season got off to a great start this week for the Hastings boys hockey team. The Raiders earned a big 2-1 win over Stillwater in the SEC opener for both teams and then, on Tuesday, Hastings scored a huge 7-3 win over White Bear Lake.
The Bears were ranked No. 18 in the state and were the favorites to win the SEC title this year.
Hastings scored the first four goals of the game, taking a 4-1 lead into the first intermission.
Colin Shoen scored the first two. Matt Koch and Mark Huneke each added goals to build the lead.
In the second period, Hastings added to the lead with a goal at 16:46. Andrew Bussey scored.
In the third, Zach Mellick scored go put Hastings up 6-1. White Bear Lake scored two goals before Hastings added a score at 16:47 for the final. Joe Shingledecker added the seventh goal.
Assists on the night went to Mark Huneke, Bussey (2), Koch (2), Matt Flynn (2) and Jake Caneff.
The game was filled with penalties, including two majors. White Bear Lake players were twice whistled for five-minute majors for checking from behind. In all, the Bears had 10 penalties whistled against them. Hastings had 11.
Matt Radke played in goal for Hastings. He made 24 saves on 27 shots.
Hastings had 19 shots on goal.
The Raiders are 3-1 on the season. The loss came against Eastview on Nov. 27.
Against the Ponies, the game took on a sort of playoff atmosphere, Welch said.
“The pace of the game was fantastic,” he said. “The hitting was fantastic. The refs let them play a bit. It was very entertaining to watch. To see the kids respond that way after the Eastview loss, it was refreshing.”
Hastings got on the board first against Stillwater with a power play goal at three minutes of the first period. Matt Koch scored, assisted by Andrew Bussey.
“The power play had been moving the puck extremely well,” Welch said. “Matt got the puck off the side boards, walked to the slot and took a good, hard wrist shot. He slipped it past the goalie.”
After a scoreless second period, Hastings went up 2-0 on a goal at 10:35 by Matt Flynn, assisted by Mark Huneke and Andrew Bussey.
“Again, we were moving the puck extremely well,” Welch said. “We had some great passes. Huneke took the shot, the rebound came to Flynn and he buried it.”
Matt Radke played in goal and earned the win. He made 22 saves on 23 shots.
“He played solid the whole game,” Welch said. “He didn’t have to make any great saves, but he was a very solid goaltender for us.”
Hastings finished with 26 shots on goal.