While the Hudson ice hockey team had good reason to be a bit tired, the Explorers scored an early first-period goal and never looked back during their 5-1 victory over Roosevelt Monday night at Kent State University Ice Arena.
Ninth-seeded Hudson (16-13-2) returned to the ice after losing a five-overtime game against Mentor on Saturday in the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League Baron Cup Tournament.
"We were still amped up about that," Explorers head coach Caleb Wyse said. "We just keep going. We just keep coming."
Hudson’s Blake Lori offered the game’s first goal on a power play opportunity created after Roosevelt’s Phil Macomber was whistled for elbowing. The Explorers’ Luke Karnofel earned an assist on the tally scored with 12:33 on the first-period clock.
Lori scored two more goals in the contest, earning a hat trick before the night was complete.
"Lori is a player, a scorer and a smart defenseman," Wyse said. "It was just a matter of time before he was going to break out."
"That’s not how we wanted to start," Roosevelt head coach Ben Barlow said. "We didn’t want to be too overly aggressive and that bit us. It was hard to play from behind against a really good team."
Karnofel and Lori each scored a goal in the second period to give the Explorers a three-goal lead heading into the final period.
Karnofel’s effort slid between the pads of Roosevelt goaltender Zachary Harper at 11:24 while Lori’s effort was stick side at 6:24. Sully Clark and Joe Collins were credited with assists on the Karnofel goal while Brady Ludewig assisted on Lori’s tally.
Sending an impressive backhand shot past Harper, Clark scored within the first three minutes of the final period and Lori blasted a slap shot from the top of the point into the top left corner of the Rough Riders’ net less than two minutes later for the hat trick.
Tenth-seeded Roosevelt’s lone goal of the evening was netted by senior Branden Monroe on an extra-man opportunity for the Rough Riders with 7:38 remaining in the game.
"Branden has had a great year and it’s a thrill to see him score," Barlow said.
Hudson goaltender Will Hannon stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced, leading a stellar defensive effort by the Explorers.
"We have a good defensive core," Wyse said. "Hannon has gotten on a roll. He is seeing the puck well and making great saves. He is starting to play well."
Roosevelt finished its season with a 22-11 record.
"It’s a heck of a turnaround from four wins (last season) to 22," said Barlow.
Hudson is scheduled to play eighth-seeded Cleveland Heights in the second round Saturday at 8 p.m.
Follow Jim Smith on Twitter @BlueLineNotes.