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KENT -- It took two weeks longer than they wanted, but the Explorers now have their school record.
The fourth-seeded Hudson ice hockey team advanced to the third round of the Kent district tournament after posting a lopsided 9-0 victory over 13th-seeded Pepper Pike Orange Feb. 18 at Kent State University.
With the win, the Explorers earned a date with Bainbridge Township Kenston in the third round. The Bombers advanced with a commanding 11-0 win over Nordonia.
Hudson was scheduled to play Kenston Feb. 21 at Kent State. Results were not available at press time. The winner of that game is set to play the Hunting Valley University-Kent Roosevelt winner Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m.
The Explorers won two of three against the Bombers. One of those victories was a commanding 8-1 win during the regular season.
"They [the Bombers] caught us at a good time," Hudson head coach Caleb Wyse said. "They happened to pull the hair of an angry bear that day.
"I'm all about competition. You're going to win 9-0 or 8-1. It happens. Being competitive brings out the best in our guys."
Against the Lions, the Explorers earned their school-record 23rd win of the season. The previous record of 22 victories was set in 2000.
Win No. 23 was never in doubt.
Hudson scored four times in the first period and had a six-goal advantage when senior forward Chandler Kotseos scored his second goal of the game with 2 minutes, 42 seconds left in the second period.
At that point, the running-clock rule was in effect since the Explorers had a six-goal lead.
Hudson outshot Orange (11-11) 40-23.
"You just try to play the way you've been playing all year," Wyse said. "You don't want to embarrass them. You don't want to treat them like your little brother. You play the way you play and let the chips fall wherever they may."
Kotseos finished with three goals and two assists and senior forward Max Cole had two goals and two assists for the Explorers.
Sophomore defenseman Blake Lori and junior forward Colin Dickens each contributed one goal and one assist and sophomore defenseman Brady Ludewig and sophomore forward Joe Collins each had one goal.
Sophomore forward Jacob Gray and freshman forward Luke Karnofel each had one assist for Hudson.
Explorers' senior goaltender Stroud Corr got the shutout in the cage. He finished with 23 saves. Lions' junior goaltender Max Rekhson made 31 stops.
"It's all about surviving and advancing," Wyse said. "It doesn't matter how you do it."