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Hastings comes back to beat Forest Lake, 3-2, in boys hockey

Two power play goals just four minutes apart were just what the Hastings Raiders needed in a Suburban East Conference matchup on Saturday with Forest Lake.

Hastings trailed 1-0 after one period and 2-0 after two periods to the Rangers, who were 4-1-3 in SEC play at the time.

Midway through the third period, though, the Hastings power play caught fire. At 7:57, Mike Junker scored, assisted by Blake Berg and Mark Huneke.

The game-tying goal was scored by Huneke at 11:47, assisted by Berg and Matt Flynn.

“We played very well in the first period, and in the second period we played so-so,” coach Russ Welch said. “In the third period, we dominated. We had those two power play goals and that was the difference. We had a lot of pressure on them, and we forced them into taking a couple penalties with our hard work.”

To see the power play get two crucial third-period goals had Welch excited.

“It’s something we’ve been working on since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Our power play has been playing well lately. We’ve been getting some goals on the power play lately, and those two were huge.”

The game went into overtime tied 2-2. At 2:14 of the extra session, Ryan Tix scored an even-strength goal, assisted by Danny Steiner and Austin Houska.

Houska won the draw to the point. Steiner put it on net and Tix crashed the goal and banged in the rebound. Tix also had the game-winning goal against Park and the tying goal against Roseville.

“He seems to be the man on the spot lately,” Welch said. “It was just a nice play. It’s hard to draw those up – you just have to go to the net and hope you get a rebound and pop something in. He did.”

Tyler Wokye played in goal for Hastings and earned the win. He made 23 saves on 25 shots.

“He had a nice, solid game for us,” Welch said.

Hastings had 38 shots on goal.

Steady play

Welch praised the efforts of several players who are steady contributors who aren’t showing up much on the stat sheets.

Steiner, Jake Otto, Jake Cooper, Sam Otto and Houska fit that description, he said.

“Those are some of the guys who have been playing pretty solid who haven’t got a lot of points,” Welch said. “They’re playing a great role for us – doing their jobs.”

This week

Hastings plays host to Eastview tonight (Thursday) in a non-conference matchup.

The Raiders then play host to Cretin-Derham Hall at 3 p.m. on Saturday.