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HHS girls' hockey wraps up regular season

Sophomore Samantha Benson chases down the Spartan puck-handler in a game against Simley earlier this season. (Photo courtesy of Beck Photography)

The Hastings girls' hockey team wrapped up its regular season this past week with a conference win at Simley followed by a loss at Apple Valley. The Raiders finished the season with a final record of 8-16-1 overall. Official conference rankings have not yet been announced.

Simley

The Raiders continued their offensive tear against the Spartans and scored six goals. Head coach Josh Colvin said his team continued with their improvement from previous games.

"Simley got out to an early 1-0 lead, but our girls were relentless the entire game," Colvin said. "We pressured the puck well and did a great job getting pucks to the net with support. Our seniors again led the way with three of our six goals. This was the third game in a row where we were able to dictate the tempo and control zone time."

Simley scored first in the beginning of the first period, but Hastings responded on a power-play goal from Erika McDonald, assisted by Samantha Benson. The Raiders opened up a 2-1 lead to start the second period with another goal by McDonald, assisted once again by Benson. However, the Spartans tied it up in the middle of the period. Hastings reclaimed the lead with a second power-play goal from Layna Connell, with help from Addie Buck and Taylor Larson. With a 3-2 lead going into the third period, Hastings blew open the game by scoring three unanswered goals from Callie McNary and Rachel Klimek and won 6-2.

Goalie Alayna Kunshier had 16 saves in the win; the Raiders outshot the Spartans 24-18 and converted on three-of-six power plays.

Apple Valley

Coming into the game against Apple Valley, Hastings was a little short-handed. They were without sophomore Samantha Benson, who was injured in the previous game against Simley. Colvin said that losing Benson threw a wrench into the Raiders' line rotations and they struggled to adapt.

"Sam Benson was still out and the different combinations of lines we tried never really clicked offensively," Colvin said. "The girls worked hard and competed but we didn't generate enough shots, and the shots we did generate didn't have enough support for the rebounds."

Apple Valley scored a goal in the first and second periods and then two in the third to shutout Hastings 4-0. They outshot the Raiders 27-14 and Kunshier came away with 23 saves.

Hastings received the seventh seed for the section 3AA playoffs and travels to Eagan tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 8. Hastings lost to Eagan earlier in the season, 4-0. The winner of tonight's game will play the winner of East Ridge and Park of Cottage Grove Saturday, Feb. 11.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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