KENT — The Hudson hockey team scored two goals each in the second and third periods Thursday night en route to a 4-1 victory over Kent Roosevelt at Kent State Ice Arena.
The match was the first for each team in the 2018 Rough Rider Holiday Tournament.
After a scoreless opening period, Hudson sophomore Jack Divine launched an impressive long-range effort from the blue line into the top corner of the Roosevelt net with 8:04 on the second period clock.
“Jack Divine is developing into a good defenseman,” Hudson coach Caleb Wyse said. “He is developing a good shot and a type of meanness in front of the net. In two years, he will be a defensive all-star.”
With just over three minutes remaining in the middle period, Explorers sophomore Sullivan Clark deflected a pass sent his way from behind the goal line from linemate Miles Harr into the net to give Hudson a 2-0 lead. Luke Karnofel earned a secondary assist on the scoring effort.
Displaying a gritty effort until the horn ending the second period, Roosevelt’s Ethan Steffl tallied a goal off a designed faceoff play with 1.4 seconds remaining.
“It’s about staying focused,” Roosevelt coach Ben Barlow said. “We have a specific faceoff where we get the puck to the net. Ethan Steffl did one heck of a job executing the faceoff. It gave the kids a lot of life. The goal was a reward for great effort.”
The Explorers (5-3-0) padded their lead in the final period when Matthew Hannon and Alec Dickens netted goals. Blake Lori was credited with an assist on the Hannon tally.
“Dickens is a sniper and he will probably be rookie of the year,” Wyse said.
Goaltender Zach Harper saved 29 of the 33 shots he faced for the Rough Riders (7-5-0), and Hudson's Nicholas Tomasulo stopped 11 of 12 shots, several of them at point-blank range on breakaway attempts by Roosevelt’s Nick Krestan and Steffl.
“Kent has a couple of players [Krestan and Steffl] that can get behind you and you have to watch out for those guys. We got some good goaltending tonight and if they score on those breakaways its 4-3,” Wyse said.
“For a majority of the game, Harper gave us a chance to win and that is the point we need to get to night in and night out with our goaltenders,” Barlow said.
“Not the outcome we wanted and it’s hard to take silver linings and moral victories out of the game. I am going to leave the rink tonight feeling like my kids gave one heck of an effort. They executed a game plan and stuck with it. I thought we had kids step up tonight and fill roles they are not accustomed to."