Boys' Hockey: Hastings wins South St. Paul Premier Tournament
The Hastings Raiders boys' hockey team continued its tremendous play at the South St. Paul Premier Tournament Dec. 26-28 and they came away with the tournament championship. The Raiders faced tough competition throughout as they beat host South St. Paul, Woodbury and Eagan. With the three consecutive wins Hastings is now 8-2 overall and tied atop the Metro East Conference with Hill-Murray. The Raiders' next game is home against Owatonna on Saturday, Jan. 5.
Hastings took on conference-opponent and host South St. Paul in the first game on Wednesday, Dec. 26. The first period went scoreless before sophomore Jager Kendall put the Raiders ahead 1-0 with help from junior Terry Kuhn late in the second period. Just 11 seconds into the the third period, junior Chase Freiermuth scored unassisted to make it 2-0 which was the final. Hastings outshot the Packers 38-25 as their offense continues its torrid pace while still playing solid defense.
The Raiders faced the Woodbury Royals in the second round. Hastings struck first, scoring a couple minutes into the second period as Freiermuth scored unassisted once again. Woodbury tied the game late in the second period but then sophomore Jax Schauer scored the go-ahead goal at the start of the third period with help from junior Cody Vieth.
The tournament championship game saw Hastings and the Eagan Wildcats face-off on Friday, Dec. 28. The Raiders took advantage of six Wildcat penalties to score three power-play goals on the way to a 4-3 victory. The Raiders struck first with a power-play goal by senior Nolan Conzemius (assisted by senior Kyle Jones). Later on in the first they took a 2-0 lead when Jack Klimek scored another power-play goal with help from Kendall. However, Eagan would get on the board with a minute left in the period to make it 2-1 Raiders. The Wildcats scored another goal a few minutes into the second period to tie the game. But then senior Isaac Flynn scored Hastings' third goal on a power play assisted by Freiermuth and they led 3-2. Once again Eagan tied it up before the end of the period and it was 3-3 heading into the third. More than halfway through the third period, Kendall scored the game-winning goal with help from Schauer and Hastings took home the championship 4-3. It was the only game in which the Raiders were outshot (42-18). Hastings' eight wins so far this season is almost double what they had in 2017-2018 and over half the season still remains.