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KENT — Hudson ice hockey had a dogfight on its hands in its district quarterfinal game with Kenston.
However, Hudson won that fight and now are on the brink of history.
The Explorers defeated Kenston 4-2 Feb. 21 at the Kent State University Ice Arena to advance to the regional semifinals.
Hudson improved to 24-6-1 on the season, while Kenston ended the year at 13-14-2.
The Bombers came out very competitive, as Kenston had a 10-8 lead in shots on goal in the first period. The Bombers looked to slow down Hudson’s speed game by posting its defenders on the blue line and poke checking whenever possible.
Kenston also had the only power play of the first period, when Hudson forward Chandler Kotseos was given two minutes for head contact with 4:56 left in the first.
However, Hudson pounced on a Bomber turnover a few seconds later.
Forward Eric Halford stole the puck and passed to Colin Dickens, who shot it home with 4:32 left in the first. The short-handed tally made it 1-0 after one period.
Hudson’s penalty issues caught up with them in the second period.
After some sustained pressure in front of net, Kenston tied the game with 5:05 left in the second period when Mitchel Pozwick put home a rebound from point-blank range.
Kenston goaltender Jason Hildebrand was excellent, as he made a bevy of quality saves, including a variety of one-on-one stops. Hildebrand finished with 26 saves.
However, Hudson goaltender Stroud Corr was just as solid. He finished with 36 saves as the Bombers finished with a 38-30 edge in shots on goal.
After being shut out during the first two periods, Hudson’s top scoring duo got to work in the third.
Kotseos slid a puck to center Max Cole, who finally got loose along the boards and slid the puck through Hildebrand’s five hole to make it 2-1 with 13:35 left in the game.
Although defender Blake Lori was hit with a 10-minute misconduct penalty, Hudson kept coming.
With 7:23 left, Kotseos was denied on by Hildebrand’s pads, but Cole got to the loose puck in the crease and poked it home, making it 3-1.
To its credit, Kenston didn’t give up. The Bombers cut the lead to 3-2 with 4:19 left when Cole Lombardi scored from a tight angle.
However, Kotseos put the game beyond doubt with a brilliant move along the boards.
After collecting a pass from Lori, Kotseos passed the puck off the boards to himself, beat his defender and put the puck past Hildebrand, making it 4-2 with 1:13 left in the game.
Hudson will face top-seeded University School Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in a district semifinal at Kent.