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In recent years, the top dog of the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League Red North Division has been perennial state power Shaker Heights.
Hudson can certainly make that claim. On their way to all those Red North Division titles, the Red Raiders have owned the Explorers.
Not this time.
Hudson improved to 20-4-1 overall and 6-1 in the Red North Division after posting a thrilling a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Shaker Jan. 22 at Kent State University Ice Arena.
The Red Raiders, who defeated the Explorers 7-1 earlier in the season, dropped to 5-2 in the division. Rocky River also has two losses.
If Hudson can win its last two division games, it will claim the Red North Division title.
As they've done in a number of games this season, the Explorers prevailed, thanks to their flair for the dramatic.
When Daniel Ritts scored his second goal of the game early in the second period, Shaker had a 3-0 lead.
At that point, the Red Raiders' spell over Hudson seemed to be working. Shaker made a home near the Explorers' goal and seemed to be relentless in its attack.
But Hudson managed to get the puck out of its zone after that crucial goal.
The Explorers finally got on the board with 9 minutes, 26 seconds left in the period when Chandler Kotseos found the net off assists from Alex Cole and Max Cole. Hudson, which was outshot 10-6 in the first 15 minutes, had a 10-8 advantage in shots on goal in the second period.
In the third period, Hudson's Dr. Jekyll turned into a rather formidable Mr. Hyde.
In a span of less than seven minutes, the Explorers went from the outhouse to the penthouse. Hudson scored four goals during that time frame.
Max Cole got things started by gliding past a few defenders and then beating Red Raiders' goalie Liam Siwik one on one to make it 3-2.
It was all Explorers after that.
Cole scored again to tie the game a little more than four minutes later off assists from Kotseos and Colin Dickens.
A little more than 90 seconds later, Hudson took the lead for good.
This time, Blake Lori found the net with a hard shot from the left side to give Hudson a 4-3 advantage. Max Cole was credited with the assist.
That still wasn't enough for the Explorers.
Hudson made it 5-3 when Alex Nawn found the net after a feed from Kotseos.
The Red Raiders pulled their goalie and cut their deficit to 5-4 when Wyatt Eisen scored with a minute left.
But Brady Ludewig's shot from deep found an empty net to clinch the win for the Explorers with 23 seconds remaining. Max Cole had the assist.
Ritts and Stephen Straffon scored Shaker's first two goals in the opening period.
Hudson goaltender Stroud Corr made 22 saves in the nets. Siwik finished with 20 stops. Both teams finished with 26 shots on goal.