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Boys hockey: Raiders beat Rangers, 5-1

The Hastings boys hockey team improved to 5-3 on the season last week with a 5-1 win over Forest Lake.

The score may look lopsided, but the game wasn't.

Hastings scored single goals in the first and second periods, and held a 2-0 lead heading into the third period.

In the third, Hastings pulled away with three goals.

"The game was a lot closer than the score shows," coach Russ Welch said. "They outshot us, but we kept hanging in there. We played pretty well."

The Raiders were led by Austin Nelson, who had a pure hat trick as he scored three consecutive goals for Hastings.

The first came at 16:17 of the first period, assisted by Nate Flynn.

The second came short-handed at 9:11 of the second period, against assisted by Flynn.

In the third period, Nelson scored on the power play just 27 seconds in to the period, assisted this time by Tate Sykes.

The team's fourth goal was scored by Andy Riveness on the power play at 7:10 of the third period. He was assisted by Jake Siewert and Drew Bauer.

Riveness then scored again, this one at 8:57, and this one was short-handed. He was assisted by Siewert.

"Our special teams were a real big plus for us in that game," Welch said. "They were the difference in the game."

Connor Stevens played in goal and got the win. He made 28 saves.

Hastings was outshot 29-21.

The 5-3 mark looks fine to Welch.

"We're pretty happy," he said. "We've had a couple periods, three or four of them, where we haven't played very well, but I like our work ethic. I like our kids' attitudes. We're pretty positive."

Hastings is competing at a holiday tournament in South St. Paul this week. The team will definitely be tested early in 2011 with five big games against some of the state's top teams, including Eagan.