Royal Raptors fall in 3OTDespite 45 saves by Taplin, Hastings rallies to defeat South Washington County girls hockey team in Section 3AA opener.
What started out so well and carried on so dramatically ended so heart-breakingly as the South Washington County girls hockey team saw its season come to an abrupt ending after the bulk of three overtimes of play in a 3-2 loss at Hastings in the Section 3AA opener on Wednesday night, despite 45 saves from goaltender Jessica Taplin.
The seventh-seeded Royal Raptors entered the Hastings Civic Arena with a 1-0-1 record against their second-seeded hosts and had the assembled fans in attendance thinking that win No. 2 would be in store after taking a 2-0 lead on the Raiders in the first period.
Sydney Falconer put SWC up 1-0 with an unassisted goal at 3:13, with her strike followed by a short-handed Royal Raptor tally from Alexa Jacobsen — assisted by Emily Moris - at 9:46 as the Woodbury/East Ridge co-operative headed to the first intermission up two goals headed into the first intermission, despite being outshot 12-7.
Hastings would continue to hound the SWC zone in the second period as the Royal Raptors defense and Taplin stood tall against the onslaught.
Yet, the Raiders — out-shooting SWC by nearly a two-to-one margin — finally broke through for their first goal at 13:03 of the middle frame to pull to within 2-1, a score that would hold into the third period before the hosts knotted the count at 2-all on a power-play strike at 10:42.
That's where the score would stay for the next 36-plus minutes.
With Taplin standing on her head in the Royal Raptors net, the contest progressed from regulation — where the shot disparity was 32-19 in favor of the Raiders — into the first eight-minute overtime, then into a second 17-minute span.
Hastings continued to pepper the SWC net, as the senior netminder from Woodbury High School was true on 13 shots she faced. Her Royal Raptor teammates nearly made good on a few of their limited offensive opportunities, yet the contest would progress into a third extra session that saw the Raiders put three more shots on net in the first five minutes of the eight-minute interval, all of which were stopped by Taplin.
Shot number four, however, was a different matter...
Hastings defender Brittney Huneke, who had scored the tying goal back in the third period, ended the affair in the sixth as she fired home a stellar crossing pass from her teammate Ali Speedling, who was along the boards, and beat Taplin top-shelf to bring the night to crushing end for the visiting side after 81 minutes of play.
The defeat concludes the South Washington County season with a 9-11-6 overall record. Hastings advances to play No. 3 seed Burnsville on Saturday night in Inver Grove Heights.