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Raiders bockey team tied for fourth place in SEC standings

The Hastings boys hockey team is on a three-game winning streak thanks to a couple close wins last week.

One of those wins came Saturday over Mounds View, 2-1, in overtime.

"It was not one of our better games as a team," coach Russ Welch said. "But, after losing seven one-goal games, to come back and win a couple of one-goal games, back-to-back, was big for our kids.

"The difference in the game for us was our goalie, Connor Thomas, With less than five minutes left in the game, he stopped a penalty shot. Then he stopped two point-blank shots in overtime. We could have lost in overtime, easily."

Thomas made 35 saves on the night.

"He covered his angles, he handled the puck and didn't give them any rebounds," Welch said. "It was a big game for him. It was great to see him come back and play very well."

Drew Bauer put Hastings on the board in the third period. He was assisted by Jake Siewert and Tate Sykes.

The game winner was scored in overtime by Austin Nelson, assisted by Nate Flynn and Zach Mellick.

Vs. Forest Lake

Hastings beat Forest Lake on Tuesday, 7-6.

Andy Riveness had the first Hastings goal. He was assisted by Austin Nelson.

Riveness then scored again in the second period, again assisted by Nelson.

Nelson also had a goal in the second period.

In the third period, unassisted goals were scored by Nick Heumoeller (2), and Matt Koch.

Mellick had a power play goal, assisted by Nelson.

The goals by Heumoeller were the first two of the season for him.

"He's got a good shot," Welch said. The first one he put on net. It went through a bunch of bodies and it just ended up in the back of the net. His second one, it went off one of their players and in the net. That was a big break for us."

Hastings trailed 4-3 at one point. In a wild third period, though, Hastings scored four goals to pull out the win.

"It was great to see the kids come out and play so hard in the third period," Welch said. "They had a little bit more jump in their skates. It was a pretty entertaining third period if you were a fan. It was a nightmare if you were a coach.

"They scored. We scored. They scored. We scored. It was just back and forth."

Forest Lake had 32 shots on goal.

Hastings had 24.

P.J. Piotrowski earned the win in goal for Hastings.

The SEC race

White Bear Lake leads the conference race with 23 points (11 wins and one tie).

Stilwater has a 9-2-2 league mark, good for 20 points and second place.

Roseville is third at 7-4-2.

Hastings has a 7-6 record and is tied for fourth with Forest Lake, which has a 5-4-4 record.

"We've got some tough games coming up," Welch said. "Cretin is right behind us in the standings, and we play them. Roseville is just ahead of us, and we play them here Saturday."

Hockey Day in Hastings is Saturday, with the boys and girls junior varsity teams and the boys and girls varsity teams all playing at the Civic Arena. The girls game is at 5:15 p.m. and the boys game is at 7:30 p.m.