BROOKLYN — Sully Clark isn’t the type to let things slide.
The junior forward certainly liked much of what he saw Thursday evening. However, there were quite a few things he didn’t like.
When it came to those not-so-pleasing sights, Clark didn’t mince words.
“I feel like, as a team, we really fell apart,” he said.
His opponents, on the other hand, may not be so sure. That’s because they were thoroughly dominated by Clark and several of his friends.
The Hudson ice hockey team advanced to the Baron Cup I semifinals after cruising past Cleveland Benedictine 4-0 at John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn.
The Explorers controlled the game from start to finish and they had a commanding 40-24 advantage in shots on goal.
Pardon Clark if he wasn’t particularly impressed.
One word: penalties.
“We really have to stay out of the box,” Clark said. “Last year, we were really on a downfall because we had a lot of penalties. Once you play better teams that we can’t afford to get penalties, we sort of struggle. When we don’t get in the box, we’re pretty good.”
Hudson was very good in the first period.
Thanks to a goal and an assist by Clark, the Explorers took a 3-0 lead less than 15 minutes into the game.
Clark added a short-handed goal a little more than a minute into the second period.
Good times, right?
That wasn’t the least bit good enough for the hard-to-please Clark.
“In the first period, we dominated most of the game,” he said. “We got pressure down low. We started off pretty hot in the beginning of the second. After that, the wheels started falling off.”
Fortunately for Clark and Co., their margin for error was rather large. And despite having fewer skaters than it liked a bit too often, Hudson put on quite a show.
Clark certainly had a lot to do with it.
His second tally may have been the most aesthetically pleasing goal of all. Not long after the Explorers were called for a — wait for it — penalty, Clark put the game out of reach with a highlight goal in the second half.
The puck went to sophomore Wyatt Prado on the left side. Prado got near the Bengals’ net before making a pretty backward pass through his legs. The puck went right to Clark, who slapped the puck into the net from close range.
“Wyatt Prado had a nice pass across the middle,” Clark said. “It’s not like it’s an individual effort. My teammates really helped me.”
Since he has high expectations for his talented team, Clark will continue to fuss over the little things. At the same time, though, he isn’t the type of person who refuses to smell the roses.
Two years ago, Hudson had a rather long hiatus from the ice after its regular-season finale.
Not this year.
“As the years have progressed, I feel the team has gotten better,” Clark said. “This team has developed more. My freshman year, we didn’t even make the Baron Cup.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_Gannett.