The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team won their last three games of the regular season to head into the section playoffs with confidence and momentum. One of those wins was over Rosemount, which helped the Raiders clinch the seventh-seed in section 3AA over the Irish, who are the bottom seed.

Hastings scored 19 goals in their last three games, which is more than they had scored in the previous 15 games combined. The Raiders beat Henry Sibley at home 7-1 on Saturday, Jan. 27. Hastings scored two goals in the first courtesy of juniors Addie Buck and Maddie Junker, and Junker scored two more in the second period for the hat trick along with a goal from senior Laynee Connell. Sophomore Taylor Larson scored two goals of her own in the third period.

The offense kept flowing on the road at Rosemount in a game that would affect section seedings. Hastings steadily put the pressure on the Irish when they scored one goal in the first period from Junker to lead 1-0. Goals from Connell and Larson in the second period led to a solid 3-1 lead. Three in the third by Junker, senior Josie Kummer and junior Sam Benson put the game away for a 6-2 win.

The Raiders won their regular season finale at Henry Sibley in a game that saw five goals scored in the third period as Hastings lost the lead, retook it, lost it again, and then sealed the deal. Benson scored five minutes into the game to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead, which the Warriors answered. Then junior MacKenzie Putnam scored near the end of the period for a 2-1 lead. Henry Sibley tied the game at two apiece to start the second, but Benson gave Hastings the lead right back and the Raiders led 3-2 going into the third.

Henry Sibley once again tied the game to start the period, but then junior Libby Judge gave Hastings a 4-3 lead. The Warriors scored again and would not go away until Kummer and Junker scored back-to-back goals in the final minutes to give Hastings the win.

The Raiders traveled to second-seeded Apple Valley on Wednesday, Feb. 7, after this article went to print for their first section game. Should they have won, they play the winner of Park and Eastview on Saturday, Feb. 10., with the section finals being on Valentine's Day.

Boys lose to Mayo and Simley

The Hasting Raiders boys' hockey team lost a tight game to Rochester Mayo at Hastings Civic Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 30. The Raiders scored first in the second period on a power-play goal by junior Isaac Flynn (assisted by Jonathan Peine and Leo Otto). However, Mayo scored two goals midway through the third period to win 2-1.

Last Thursday, Feb. 1, the Raiders were on the road at Simley where they lost 5-2 to the Spartans. Simley scored first but Hastings answered on a goal by sophomore Jack Klimek, assisted by senior John Neuman. Simley ended the period with another goal to lead 2-1 heading into the second period.

The Spartans scored within the first minute to take a 3-1 lead. The Raiders cut it to 3-2 on a goal by senior Morgan Sweeney (assisted by Logan Boogren and Joey Siewert), but once again Simley ended the period with a goal to lead 4-2. They scored another goal in the third to make it final at 5-2.

Hastings is now 4-16-1 overall and 3-9 in the Metro East. They have four regular season games left over the next two weeks before section playoffs start, which right now they are looking at the bottom seed. The Raiders go to Tartan on Thursday, Feb. 8, and then to East Ridge on Saturday, Feb. 10.