Girls' Hockey: Raiders compete in Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic
The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team has had an up-and-down season so far and that continued as they competed in the Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic at Schmitz-Maki Arena in Farmington. The Raiders—winners of two of their last three games—went 0-3 in the tournament with losses to host Farmington, Lakeville North and Hutchinson. With the losses, Hastings is now 5-9-1 with 10 games left and they sit at 1-2-1 in the Metro East Conference.
Heading into the tournament, head coach Josh Colvin said they expected to face some tough competition. That proved true as the Raiders were outscored 12-3 in their three games.
In the first game against Farmington on Wednesday, Dec. 26, the Raiders fell behind 3-0 quickly in the first period, two of which came on power plays. The Tigers added a goal in both the second and third periods as well to lead 5-0 before sophomore Kaitlin Petrich put the Raiders on the board. Hastings was outshot 36-16 in the contest.
"These teams from the South Suburban, they're just fast," head coach Josh Colvin said after the game. "We played a little bit scared against them, took some bad penalties in the first that killed us and put us behind the eight-ball. Then they were able to just sit back and lean on us, and that created all the issues."
Hastings had a couple of 5-on-3 opportunities that they were unable to convert on, which Colvin said he was not necessarily worried about as he attributed the difficulties the Raiders had to Farmington's overall speed and ability to disrupt.
A unique challenge about the Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic is that teams play three games in three days, which is rare during the season until teams reach the state tournament. However, the biggest challenge the Raiders would face according to Colvin was to play hard for three whole periods, three straight days and maintaining their mental toughness.
The second game against Lakeville North went much the same as the loss to Farmington. The Panthers scored three goals in the first period and another in the second to lead 4-0. Once again Hastings scored a late goal in the third period to prevent a shutout, this time on a power-play goal by senior Sam Benson assisted by fellow seniors Libby Judge and MacKenzie Putnam.
The last game on Friday saw a much better showing by the Raiders. After a scoreless first period, Hutchinson scored in the second to take a 1-0 lead. However, Hastings then tied the game on a power-play goal by junior Taylor Larson with help from Benson to start the third period. Hutchinson then scored two more goals to make the 3-1 final. After getting drastically outshot by Farmington and Lakeville North, The Raider offense was able to pick it up a notch and ended up having the shot advantage over Hutchinson 40-26.
Hastings next plays on Thursday, Jan. 3, at home against St. Paul/Henry Sibley and then travels to Irondale on Saturday, Jan. 5.