CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. – The seventh-seeded Hendrick Hudson High School hockey team has a chance to continue its historic playoffs when it faces No.2 Rye High School on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Hommocks Park Ice Rink in Larchmont.
Hen Hud is in just its second season as a varsity program in Section 1. It had been a club team for more than ten years. The team earned its first section playoff win in school history when it outlasted No. 10 Pawling High School, 4-3, in overtime on Sunday.
Assistant coach Mike Grean described the exhilaration of the win Sunday, particularly because the team went through it twice.
“Right before the game-winner, we put one in but they called it off because they said the net had come off its moorings,” Grean said. “Within a matter of 30 seconds, we put it in again to make sure.”
Hen Hud beat Pawling, 7-4, about a month before Sunday’s playoff match, which carried a significantly greater amount of stress for Grean.
“It was harder than (it) needed to (be),” Grean said. “Gray hairs.”
The Sunday game did not start until 8:30 p.m. So after the thrill and the excitement of the historic win, Grean realized he had more work to do because his team had advanced.
“I got home around 12 and realized I had to make a practice plan,” Grean said. “So I didn’t get to sleep until around 1:30.”
The play of goalie Zach Shapiro has been key for Hen Hud, which went on an eight-game winning streak this season to propel them into the playoffs. He is one of eight seniors on the team who will try to extend their final season as long as possible.
Now, Hen Hud faces perennial powerhouse Rye in the second round of the Division II playoffs. The game carries a personal significance for Grean, a Rye alumnus who skated for the team in the late 1970s.
So he knows the enormity of the task Hen Hud faces Wednesday.
“They’re always in it,” Grean said. “It’ll be fun to go play them…We’re looking forward to it.”