The Hastings boys' hockey team got its first win against Simley this past week. The Raiders went 1-2 in a busy week and are now 1-3 in conference play and 1-7 overall.
Hastings started the week on the road against Eastview where they lost, 3-0, Tuesday, Dec. 13. The Raiders were outshot 30-10 and struggled offensively according to head coach Adam Welch.
"One area of concern for us is on the power play," Welch said. "We had a five-minute power play to begin the game and also a 5-on-3 and did not create many chances."
However, despite giving up three goals, Welch said he was encouraged by his team's defensive effort.
"I thought our goalie Scott Tuin played very well making the first save, and it was the best our defense did in front of our net, clearing guys out and preventing rebound goals," Welch said.
North St. Paul
The Raiders then traveled to North St. Paul Thursday, Dec. 15, where they fell to the high-powered Polars 8-4. Despite the lopsided score, Welch said that the game was tighter due to the amount of goals the Polars have been scoring this season.
"We lost 8-4, but it was actually a lot closer than that," Welch explained. "North has been scoring a lot of goals this year, which usually means their power play is very good, and it was, so we knew we had to stay out of the box. They have three players with over 20 points in eight games, but I thought we outplayed them most of the first (period), but a couple of penalties at the end of the first period lead to two goals for them."
Hastings was the first to score, getting a goal from Tucker Duffy which was assisted by Clay Harris and Colin Sieh. The Polars answered with three straight goals to end the first period (the last on a power play) however, and took a 3-1 lead.
From there, North St. Paul scored another power-play goal to start the second period and go up by three goals. The Raiders answered on a power-play goal by Leo Otto (assisted by Sieh and Zack Johnson), and later in the second period got another goal from Otto assisted by Luke Larson and Morgan Sweeney. North St. Paul was able to end the second period with another goal to take a 6-3 lead.
The Polars scored two more goals in the third period, which were split by Otto's third goal of the game to give him the hat trick.
Welch concluded that the Raiders needed to be more mentally tough when they got down in games.
"We are at a point where when things start to go wrong, we are hanging our heads quickly instead of battling back," Welch said. "We need to focus on the positive of games and in-game and continue to work."
Hastings ended their week at home against Simley, where they quickly bounced back from their previous two losses. The Raiders started off the game fast and on the right foot, scoring two goals in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Larson scored just minutes into the game, assisted by Logan Boogren and Mat Nicklay, and then Luke Johnson ended the first period with another goal, assisted by Sieh and Otto.
The second period, however, was the opposite as Simley was able to get two goals of their own to tie the game, 2-2.
In the third period, Hastings started the period with a goal from Zack Johnson, helped by Sweeney and Jason Williams. While Simley answered with a goal of their own, the Raiders sealed their first win of the season with a game-winning goal by Sieh with just minutes left, assisted by Duffy and Peter Meyer.
The Raiders had perhaps their strongest offensive performance to date, winning 4-3 and outshooting Simley 34-19.
Hastings hosted Red Wing Tuesday, Dec. 20, and hold their annual alumni scrimmage Friday, Dec. 23.