The Hudson ice hockey team was scheduled to play Rocky River in the Rocky River Thanksgiving Tournament in the championship game Nov. 26. Results of that match were not available at press time.
The Explorers better get used to this theme at least for another week.
Hudson already played the Pirates once in the tournament and is scheduled to play Rocky River Dec. 1 on the road. Face-off is set for 4:15 p.m.
The Explorers reached the championship game by going 3-1 in the tournament.
Hudson’s only loss? Who else — the Pirates, who earned a convincing 7-0 win Nov. 24.
“They’ve been our nemesis in recent years,” Explorers’ first-year head coach Bobby Lyle said. “Every mistake we made, they [the Pirates] took advantage and we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”
Hudson goaltender Grayson Kotseos made 40 saves in the nets.
“They’ve got a fast team,” Lyle said. “It had nothing to do with effort. I didn’t think we were outmatched. At first, we were a little taken back by their team speed. They’re the best team we’ve seen thus far.”
Fortunately, there was better news for the Explorers.
Hudson reached the championship game with a 6-2 win over Solon Nov. 25. Connor Ganley led the way with two goals and three assists and Bo Lori had one goal and two assists.
John Calabro added a goal and one assist for the Explorers and Kevin Slane and Chris Warfield each had one goal.
Brent Zubal, Brady Edwards and Jack Braun each had one assist for Hudson. Kotseos made 19 saves.
“Solon has a few kids who can skate,” Lyle said. “It was the best showing from our kids thus far.”
The Explorers earned a 4-2 victory over Westlake Nov. 24. Lori had two goals and Ganley had one goal and one assist.
Also contributing for Hudson were Braun (goal) and Anthony Giaimo (assist) and Ricky Marez (assist). Freshman goaltender Auston Ganley made 24 saves.
Although the Explorers did what they needed to do, their performance didn’t impress their first-year coach.
“We came out flat,” Lyle said. “I think we underestimated them. Auston had a lot of very big saves at opportune moments.”
Hudson started the tournament strong with a 3-0 win over Mentor Nov. 23. Ganley, Cole Mackay and Matt Murphy each scored for the Explorers. Calabro, Giaimo and Edwards each had one assist and Kotseos made 26 saves.
“We played very well against Mentor,” Lyle said. “We did all the little things we needed to do, especially in the third period.”