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Girls hockey: One fine start

Hastings senior captain Jordy Klimek (No. 9) takes the faceoff at Saturday's game in Hastings. The Raiders beat Eastview in the game, 3-2. Also pictured for Hastings are Mackenzie Holm (No. 19), Brittney Huneke and Danielle Duffy (No. 14).

Five games into the girls hockey season, the Hastings Raiders still haven't lost a game.

The Raiders are off to a 4-0-1 start after a close 3-2 win over Eastview Saturday afternoon at Hastings Civic Arena.

It was a big win over a non-conference opponent, especially considering the fact that the Lightning are in Hastings' section.

"Our kids came to play hard," Hastings coach Jeff Corkish said. "The kids, from the first line to the third line and our extras, came and worked their tails off. Our defense played really well, and we played tough. We battled hard."

Evidence of just how hard Hastings battled could be seen on the score sheet for the game: Hastings had 11 penalties in a game filled with whistles. Eastview had four.

It was the Lightning that opened the scoring, notching a goal at 1:10 of the second period to go up 1-0.

Just two minutes later, though, Hastings' senior captain Jordy Klimek scored, assisted by Natalie Simons to tie the score 1-1.

Hastings scored two more unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead.

Erin Mortenson scored at 16:37 of the second, assisted by Kelsey Thompson, and Huneke scored at 8:36 of the third.

Mortenson's goal came shortly after a faceoff in Eastview's end. She picked the puck up in front of the net and scored.

"It was a really nice goal," Corkish said.

Huneke's goal came just after a breakaway attempt by Courtney Boucher. Huneke picked up the puck and took a shot from near the blue line, a shot that found its way to the back of the net.

"That was a huge goal," Corkish said. "We had a little breathing room with that one."

Stefanie Wical played in goal for Hastings and made 36 saves. Eastview outshot Hastings 38-24.

The Raiders continue to hand out the Hard Hat Award after games. The hard hat was donated by longtime assistant Chuck Mortel, who used to work in the concrete business.

Huneke earned the award after the Eastview game.

"She just played so well," Corkish said. "She had a really big goal for us."

Mackenzie Holm was a close second to Huneke, Corkish said.

Vs Mounds View

Hastings beat Mounds View last Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1-0. It was the first game of the Suburban East Conference season for both teams.

"That's another team we know well," Corkish said. "Mounds View is a team that will beat you through effort. They just work and work and work. It was a good battle, a good challenge for us. We luckily came out on top in that game."

Huneke scored the game's only goal in the second period.

Mounds View had control of the game for much of the second period, Corkish said, but the Raiders got momentum back long enough for Huneke to score. She came down the right wall and sent the puck into the net with a big slapshot. Torri Holm got the assist.

After the scoreless first period, and the rough start for the first 12 minutes of the second period, Corkish was concerned. That concern, though, vanished when Huneke scored.

"We got through that (second period), got the momentum back and started working hard," he said. "It was a tough game. The referees didn't call as much and let us play the game, which we always enjoy."

The start

Hastings has four wins in five games, but keeping a gaudy record like that won't be easy.

"We're really happy with our start, but at the same time we're very cautious," Corkish said. "We started last season 4-0-2 but didn't get many more wins after that.

"You have to be cautious and respect all your opponents."