One-goal loss again hits HHS boys
Another week. Another one-goal loss for the Hastings Raiders boys hockey team.
Hastings now has a 6-6-1 record on the season. All six losses are by one goal.
"We might be the best 6-6-1 team in the state," said Hastings coach Russ Welch.
The latest one-goal defeat came Jan. 8 against Cretin-Derham Hall.
C-DH took a 2-0 lead with goals that came late in the first period.
"They had a breakaway and a two-on-one and they scored on both," Welch said. "Nothing was happening in the first period, then all of a sudden we were down 2-0."
Hastings came storming back in the second period. A three-goal rally started at 3:05 when Nate Flynn scored, assisted by Austin Nelson and Zach Mellick.
Nelson scored a short-handed goal at 5:30 to tie the score and Hastings took the lead at 8:21 on a short-handed goal by Flynn, assisted by Nelson.
Cretin tied the score 3-3 with a short-handed goal at 11:11.
Hastings went back on top at 14:59, when Andrew Lindberg scored short-handed. The score was 4-3 heading into the second intermission.
Hastings had three short-handed goals in the period and Cretin had one.
"Usually, we don't have three short-handed goals in a year, let alone in a period," Welch said. "It was just crazy. I've never seen that before."
Cretin tied the game at 2:10 of the third period, then took the lead at 3:16.
At 6:10, Nelson scored, assisted by Mellick, to tie the game 5-5.
Cretin scored the game-winner at 12:36.
Most nights, when Hastings scores five goals, Welch expects his team to win. Obviously that wasn't the case against Cretin.
"We just had defensive breakdowns," he said. "We had some major breakdowns on defense that cost us four of those six goals, at least. That's unusual for us this year. The guys have been playing great back there."
Cretin had 23 shots on goal. Hastings had 18.
Connor Thomas played in goal for Hastings and made 17 saves.
Hastings put together a complete game from start to finish and beat Roseville on Jan. 6, 3-1.
"We came out and took it to them," Welch said. "We outplayed them. We played a solid game from the drop of the puck to the end of the game. It was a very rewarding victory. That was probably our best game this season. Everyone was playing well. Our defense. Our forwards. Our goaltending was great. Our penalty kill. Our power play. Everything."
Hastings fell behind at 13:38 of the first period.
The Raiders tied the score just 35 seconds into the second period, when Nelson notched a power play score. He was assisted by Flynn and Tate Sykes.
In the third period, Hastings took a 2-1 lead when Zach Mellick scored at 2:11, assisted by Nelson and Flynn.
At 10:36, Mellick added another goal for the Raiders, assisted by Nelson.
Thomas faced 23 shots and made 22 saves to earn the win.
Nelson had seven points in two games for the Raiders, leading the way for the team.
"Seven points in two games, that's a great week for him," Welch said. 'He's got great quickness and great anticipation and he can shoot the puck. He's been great all year."