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Raiders pick up two big wins to close out regular season

The Hastings girls hockey team entered the playoffs on Wednesday night with a lot of momentum.

Hastings played host to Apple Valley in the first round of the section tournament. 

Hastings was able to get the home game thanks to two wins late last week. Hastings beat Forest Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 3-1, and then edged East Ridge in overtime on Friday, Jan. 31, 3-2.

Against the Raptors, Hastings took a 1-0 lead at 9:11 of the first period on a goal by Nicole Klimek, assisted by Anna Foster.

“Knowing how big the game was against East Ridge, our  girls came out hard and grabbed a 1-0 lead before going into the locker room after the first,” coach Jeff Corkish said.

East Ridge tied the game early in the second period, then went up 2-1 at 8:57.

“East Ridge came out flying in the second and our girls could not keep up the pace, since their legs had very little left in them after the week of tough games they had played,” Corkish said. “When we got into the locker room we had to develop a plan to offset what East Ridge was doing and to keep our legs as fresh as possible. The patient disciplined style of defensive zone play took a little speed from East Ridge and allowed us to out man them in front of the net. They had a lot of zone time but did not have a lot of chances that we could not defend against.”

The Raiders tied the game at 14:54 when Natalie Simons scored, assisted by Sara Pevonka.

The game-winner was scored at 7:24 of the overtime period by Kiki Radke, assisted by Simons and Sami Claussen.

“We preached discipline and patience knowing that we would get a chance to take the lead at some point,” Corkish said. “That chance did not happen until overtime, but it came and Kiki Radke made it count with only seconds left in the game.”

Hastings goalie Brooke Weber had a strong game, making 36 saves on 38 shots.

Hastings had 16 shots on goal.

Vs Forest Lake

Hastings scored two first-period goals to get out in front of the Forest Lake Rangers, and the Raiders didn’t look back.

Simons scored, assisted by Claussen, at 2:12. The second Hastings goal was scored at 13:29 by Claire Williams, assisted by Nicole Klimek.

“The girls came out right away and snapped up a 2-0 lead with one of those goals coming off the stick of Natalie Simons,” Corkish said. “She made a beautiful toe drag move that got her behind the defense where she finished with a nice shot in the top shelf of the net.”

Forest Lake made the score 2-1 at 14:44 of the second period, but less than a minute later, Hastings countered to make the score 3-1. Radke scored, assisted by Simons.

Weber made 24 saves on 25 shots.

Hastings had 37 shots on goal.

Vs Mounds View

Hastings lost to Mounds View on Tuesday night, 2-0.

The Mustangs won the Suburban East Conference championship this year with a 14-3-1 record in the league.

Cretin-Derham Hall was second (14-4), Stillwater was third (13-4-1), Roseville was fourth (12-6) and Hastings was fifth (9-8-1).

Hastings is 13-11-1 overall on the season.