BROOKLYN -- When it comes to most sports, the greatest rivalry along Stow Road or Hudson-Aurora Road could be Hudson-Stow-Munroe Falls or perhaps, Hudson-Twinsburg or Hudson-Nordonia.

On the gridiron, one could make an argument that the Hudson-Massillon Perry showdown is becoming a must-see event, especially in the playoffs.

On the ice, Hudson's greatest rival lurks about 22 miles to the north.

Unfortunately for the Explorers' ice hockey team, that rival is the main reason Hudson hasn't brought any championships to area code 44236.

The third-seeded Explorers lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision in triple overtime to the top-seeded Red Raiders in the Baron Cup I Tournament semifinals.

The contest took place Feb. 11 at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn. Shaker went to win the title.

Shaker, which shared the Greater Cleveland Red North Division title with Rocky River and Hudson, got the game-winning goal from junior defenseman Ben Greenberg 1 minute, 45 seconds into the third overtime period.

Greenberg got the puck on the left side near his own goal, skated down the ice and squeezed the puck into the net to end the nearly three-hour match.

The Red Raiders (22-8-2), who trailed most of the game, had a 49-31 advantage in shots on goal.

"It was a close game," Explorers head coach Caleb Wyse said. "When you get to overtime, it can bounce one way or another. It didn't bounce our way."

Shaker was down 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. The Red Raiders tied the game for the last time when freshman forward Evan Grossman-McKee scored a power-play goal with 5:28 remaining in the third period. Junior forward Asher Pollack and senior forward Ryan Wheeler were credited with the assists.

Both teams had a chance to score the game-winning goal in the final five-plus minutes of regulation and all three eight-minute overtime periods.

After the first overtime period, the teams went from five on five to four on four.

Less than three minutes into the game, Hudson senior forward Max Cole made it 1-0 after he got the rebound on his own shot and put it into the net.

Nearly six minutes later, Shaker tied it when senior forward Daniel Ritts made a nifty move and scored from point-blank range on the right side.

A little more than 90 seconds later, the Explorers regained the lead.

Junior forward Eric Halford ripped a left-handed shot from long range that found the lower right corner of the net. Senior defenseman Jacob Movshin was credited with the assist.

But the Red Raiders answered again.

With just 9 seconds left in the opening period, senior forward Patrick Richards tied the game at two off assists from Wheeler and Ritts.

Undeterred, the Explorers had their own response a little more than three minutes into the second period.

Junior forward Alex Nawn made it 3-2 when he scored from close range off an assist from freshman defenseman Alex Cole.

Both teams played superior defense the rest of the way in terms of deflecting or blocking shots with their bodies, intercepting passes and of course, stellar work in goal.

Wyse did not blame fatigue for the loss.

"We had our chances," Wyse said. "That's overtime hockey. They weren't tired. They're playing a game they love. I don't even think tired is on their mind."

Hudson senior goalie Stroud Corr finished with 45 saves and many of them took place on shots from point-blank range or hard bullets from just about everywhere on the ice.

Corr made several quick-reaction glove saves on shots that seemed to be traveling more than 100 miles per hour.

Shaker senior goalie Liam Siwik was a handful for the Explorers' playmakers, too, even though he wasn't nearly as busy as his counterpart.

Siwik made 27 stops and was able to survive several shots by Hudson's stellar offensive duo of Max Cole and senior forward Chandler Kotseos, who joined Corr and sophomore defenseman Brady Ludewig on the All-Red North Division team.

Max Cole, who has a school-record 77 points this season, was named to the first team and Kotseos was named to the second team. Corr and Ludewig earned third-team honors. Wyse was named the Red North Coach of the Year.

The Explorers split their two meetings with the Red Raiders during the regular season. Shaker scored a 7-1 win in December and Hudson posted a 6-4 victory last month.

The Explorers received the fourth seed and earned an opening-round bye in the Kent district tournament.

Hunting Valley University got the top seed and Walsh Jesuit and Shaker Heights earned the second and third seeds, respectively.

Hudson is scheduled to play the Pepper Pike Orange-Mayfield winner Feb. 18 at Kent State University Ice Arena. Game time is set for 3 p.m.

"I know both coaches very well," Wyse said. "We'll be ready for (Feb. 18)."


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