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Hastings girls hockey team begins section tournament play next week

Believe it or not, the Hastings girls hockey team has just one regular season game left this season. On Saturday, Hastings plays host to Forest Lake at 5:15 p.m. in the regular-season finale.

By Wednesday, the Raiders will open play in the section tournament. Just who the Raiders will play still hasn't been determined. The section seeding meeting is planned for Sunday. The top four seeds in the section will play host to a first-round game. The semifinal and final round is planned for Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights. The semifinal round is Feb. 12 and the finals are Feb. 16.

Hastings could end up anywhere between No. 2 and No. 5 in the section.

There are 10 teams in Section 3AA. They are Hastings, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, East Ridge, Eastview, Henry Sibley, Park, Rosemount and Woodbury.

Hastings has a 12-9-3 record on the season.

Vs. Park

Hastings and Park skated to a 0-0 tie on Saturday.

"We outshot them by quite a bit and we out played them by a ton," coach Jeff Corkish said. "We had some good chances. They have one of the best goalies in the state."

Hastings had 32 shots on goal.

Stef Wical earned the shutout in goal for the Raiders.

"She did really well," Corkish said. "She made the saves she was supposed to make, and she didn't give up any rebounds. She made it look really easy. She did her job quietly. That's what you want out of your goaltender."

Corkish praised the play of senior defender Brittney Huneke.

"She had a really good game," Corkish said. "She picked the right spots to rush the puck up the ice and didn't make any turnovers. She just made the game look really easy. She had control of the game on quite a few shifts."

Kelsey Thompson also drew praise.

"She just continues to make smart little plays," Corkish said. "A lot of the little things she does don't get recognized, but we know she's doing such a good job for us right now."

Vs. Farmington

Hastings lost to Farmington on Thursday, 3-2, in what turned out to be a very physical game.

"That was the most physical game, without a doubt, that we've played in the 12 years I've been here," Corkish said. "The officials let everything go. It was almost embarrassing. Both teams got out of hand. We're lucky that nobody on either team got hurt that night."

The game was tied 2-2 heading into the second intermission.

Huneke had the first Hastings goal and Sami Claussen scored in the second period for the Raiders.

In the third period, the Tigers scored the game-winner.

Wical made 36 saves.

Vs. Mounds View

Hastings beat Mounds View last Tuesday, 4-3.

Hastings took a 2-0 lead in the first period. Mounds View tied the game in the second period with two goals before Hastings countered and got back on top.

Goals were scored by Thompson, Courtney Boucher, Katilin Stark and Mackenzie Klimek.

Assists were made by Thompson, Torri Holm (2), Hannah Simons (2), Claussen, Natalie Simons and Kit Ruedy.

Wical faced 16 shots and made 13 saves.