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Raiders boys' hockey suffers heartbreaking loss to Park

The Hastings boys' hockey team was unable to close out a victory against Park during Senior Night Thursday, Feb. 16. The Raiders led the Wolfpack 3-1 in the third period and seemed to have the game well in hand until Park exploded for five goals over a nine-minute stretch. Hastings was unable to make a comeback and lost the regular season finale 6-3.

All of Hastings' three goals came from seniors, which was fitting as Hastings honored their senior players on Senior Night. A display was put up in the common area of Hastings Civic Arena and each senior's jersey was hung inside the arena. There are 10 seniors on this year's team: Zack Johnson, Mat Nicklay, Luke Larson, Alec Rudh, Tucker Duffy, Luke Johnson, Jake Foster, Clay Harris, Colin Sieh and Peter Meyer.

Hastings scored to start the game when Duffy scored just under four minutes in, assisted by Larson. The Raiders expanded their lead in the second period with goals by Sieh (helped by Harris and Johnson) and Meyer (assisted by Nicklay) to go up 3-0. Park was able to score a goal on a power play in the second period to cut Hastings' lead to 3-1 going into the third.

The third period was a nightmare for the Raiders. Park scored back-to-back goals within 10 seconds of each other just a few minutes into the period to tie the game. Then two minutes later they took a 4-3 lead. While both teams had numerous power play opportunities during the game, the Wolfpack capitalized on two in the middle of the third to add two more goals. Hastings was unable to staunch the bleeding or make a comeback of their own and fell 6-3.

Both teams had 16 minutes of penalty during the game; however, Park was able to score on three power plays while Hastings could not convert. Through the first two periods, the Raiders had a slight shot lead of 19-17, but then were outshot 18-4 in the third. Goalie Scott Tuin tallied 29 saves.

Hastings will have their chance at revenge, however. They traveled to Park in the first round of section playoffs Tuesday, Feb. 21. Results were not available at press time. The winner plays Burnsville Thursday, Feb. 23. The Raiders ended their regular season with a 8-17-0 record overall and were 5-7 in conference for sixth-place in the Metro East Conference.

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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