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Slow starts spell doom for Raiders in pair of SEC losses

After a hot start to the season, the Hastings boys hockey team has cooled off a bit. The big problem for the Raiders over the past few weeks has been getting off to a slow start.

On the season, Hastings started with a 5-1 record.

Since then, though, Hastings has gone 1-4-1 in its last six games.

"We really haven't played very well in those last six games," coach Russ Welch said. "We get down right away - we just have to get back to doing basic little things and getting ourselves ready to play. It's like we're not ready to go from the drop of the puck. We've got to be mentally ready at the drop of the puck to play. It just didn't seem like we were in those games."

The early deficits really began to be a problem starting on Dec. 27 when Hastings faced a very good team from Hermantown. The Raiders fell behind 4-0 in the first period and ended up losing 8-3.

Against New Prague, a game that eventually ended in a 2-2 tie, Hastings fell behind 1-0 just more than two minutes into the game.

Against Cretin-Derham Hall on Jan. 3, Hastings fell behind 2-0 in the first period.

Then, on Saturday, it happened again, this time against Roseville. Hastings trailed 2-0 after one period and 3-0 just two minutes into the second period.

In that game against Roseville, Hastings stormed back to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Roseville scored with just 21 seconds left to play, and they got the win.

"We had our chances to win it in regulation, and right away in overtime, and we didn't get the puck in the net," Welch said. "We got down like that and it was hard to come back. We just didn't get over the hump to win it. If you don't find yourself in that kind of a hole, it's a lot easier to win a game like that."

After trailing 3-0, Matt Koch got Hastings on the scoreboard with a goal at 3:48, assisted by Andrew Bussey and Matt Flynn.

Roseville countered to make it 4-1.

Hastings got a goal from Bailey Siewert, assisted by Zach Mellick, at 13:24, making it 4-2.

Just seconds later, Roseville went back up by three goals, 5-2.

In the third period, Hastings lit up the scoreboard with three goals in less than two minutes.

At 14:21, Mark Huneke scored, assisted by Jake Caneff.

At 15:19, Huneke scored again, this time assisted by Bussey and Koch.

At 16:12, Bussey scored, assisted by Flynn and Koch.

Tyler Woyke played in goal for Hastings. He made 10 saves on 16 shots.

Hastings had 35 shots on goals.


Hastings lost to Cretin-Derham Hall on Thursday, Jan. 3, 4-1.

Cretin went up 2-0 with goals at 12:35 and 14:29 of the first period.

In the second period, Hastings got a goal from Blake Berg, assisted by Koch and Siewert.

In the third period, though, Cretin pulled away with a pair of goals, one at 10:58 and the second at 11:47.

Matt Radke played in goal and made 26 saves on 30 shots.

Hastings had 27 shots on goal.