BROOKLYN — It was a dominant performance in every way imaginable.
Just don’t expect Mike McNeill to throw a parade.
"We had seven penalties, which isn’t horrible, but it’s too many for us," the first-year Hudson head ice hockey coach said.
In the end, the Explorers’ numerous violations proved to be a moot point.
That’s because they extended their stay in a certain prestigious tournament for at least another couple of days.
Fourth-seeded Hudson cruised to the Baron Cup I semifinals after rolling past fifth-seeded Cleveland Benedictine 4-0 in their quarterfinal match Thursday at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn.
With the win, the Explorers (17-11-1) earned a date with top-seeded Mentor in a semifinal contest Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Hudson lost to the powerful Cardinals twice during the regular season.
As for the Bengals, the Explorers had no such issues.
Hudson, which defeated Benedictine twice during the regular season, took complete command with three goals in the first period.
The Explorers added a short-handed goal in the second period and dictated the game from start to finish. Hudson had a 40-24 advantage in shots on goal.
"We came out hot," McNeill said. "In the last 12 games, this team has played great. We’re just playing good hockey right now."
Sully Clark led the Explorers with two goals, including a short-handed goal off a fancy through-the-legs’ pass by Wyatt Prado, and an assist. Alex Movshin and Matt Hannon each found the nets for Hudson, as well.
Prado contributed two assists and Andrew Yard and Mack Clark each had one assist for the Explorers.
Hudson goaltender Nick Tomasulo turned away all 24 shots.
If there was any negative in the Explorers’ stellar performance, it was this: penalties. Nevertheless, Tomasulo and the rest of the Hudson penalty-kill unit held their ground despite facing a number of stressful situations.
That was fine with McNeill. Of course, his only question was this: Why did the Explorers bother getting themselves in such sticky situations in the first place?
"It’s great, but I don’t want to be in that position," McNeill said. "I want to be on the attack."
All in all, though, McNeill couldn’t be too cantankerous about his team’s performance. Heck, you could make that same argument in just about every game Hudson has played thus far.
And the Explorers have a chance to extend their successful season even further. Once Baron Cup play ends, Hudson will try to make some more noise in the postseason tournament.
"We’re having a great season," McNeill said.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_Gannett.