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Hastings off to 2-1 start so far in boys hockey

The Hastings boys hockey team is off to a strong 2-1 start on the season.

While the record looks nice even without asterisks, it’s important to note that the one loss comes to the ranked team from Eagan.

Hastings fell on the road to Eagan on Tuesday night, 4-0. The Wildcats are among the state’s top 20 teams.

Hastings actually outshot Eagan in the first period, 9-5, but couldn’t get a goal to show for it. Eagan, meanwhile, scored twice on its five shots, including one short-handed goal.

“I thought we played very well in the first period,” coach Russ Welch said. “We had our chances and couldn’t score. From there, Eagan took over. We just couldn’t muster any kind of attack.

“They’re a good team. We just couldn’t get enough offense going.”

Matt Radke played in goal for Hastings and made 32 saves on 36 shots.

Hastings had 20 shots on goal.

Hastings kicks off the conference season this week with a game tonight (Thursday) against White Bear Lake at home at 7:30 p.m.

Vs North St. Paul

Hastings beat North St. Paul on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 5-2. Five different Hastings players scored.

“We had balanced scoring – that’s very nice,” Welch said. “We don’t have any prolific scorers. We need the team to play well as a group. We need everybody to contribute in order for us to be successful.”

The Raiders took a 2-0 lead on goals by Colin Shoen and Mike Junker. Assists were made by Junker, Austin Houska and Danny Steiner.

North St. Paul had the scored tied 2-2 by the midway point of the second period.

“We got ourselves into some penalty trouble and they tied it up,” Welch said. “We took over from there.”

Within a minute of the Polars tying the game up, though, Hastings got the lead back on a goal by Matt Flynn, assisted by Jake Eischer and Tucker Piotrowski.

Mark Huneke gave Hastings a 4-2 lead with a goal late in the second period, assisted by Flynn and Andy Neuman.

The game’s final tally was notched at 13 minutes of the third period. Houska scored, assisted by Junker and Sam Otto.

Tyler Woyke was the Hastings goalie in the game. He earned the win with 25 saves on 27 shots.

“I thought he played pretty well,” Welch said. “He didn’t get tested too much, but it was his first game this year and I thought he played pretty well.”

Hastings had 44 shots on goal.

Alumni game

The Hastings boys hockey alumni games are set for Monday, Dec. 23, at the Civic Arena.

Welch said the “old-timers” game is at 6 p.m. Players who have graduated within the past five years will play the second game at 7:15 p.m.