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September 22, 2016
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The host Newmarket Hurricanes gave the visiting Wellington Dukes all they could handle Thursday night. In the end however, it was the County boys that rode off with a fifth straight win, knocking off Newmarket 3-2.


Newmarket came out strong and beat former Hurricanes netminder Connor Ryckman just over two-and-a-half minutes in with an Alex Ierullo goal. Fellow returnees from 2015-16 Marco Bozzo and Christian DeDonato drew the helpers on Ierullo’s fourth of the season. 35 seconds later though, the Dukes would tie things up again as hulking defenceman Hunter Gunski pocketed his first OJHL goal and first as a Duke. Brent House and Brayden Stortz continued to boost their torrid start to the season with an assist each on the goal. Former Quinte Red Devil Mackenzie Warren then gave Wellington the lead at 8:20 with his first goal of the season on a set-up from Jackson Arcan and Gunski. The Dukes would carry the one goal lead (2-1) and one shot lead (14-13) into period number two.


The only marker of the second stanza came early on – two minutes and 10 seconds to be exact – off the stick of former Campbellford Rebel Colin Doyle. Nathan MacDuff, last year’s captain of the Welland Canadians of the GOJHL and Arcan drew assists on Doyle’s first of the year, which turned out to be the game-winner. Wellington held that lead to the end of the frame, but not before losing their captain Justin Bean to a game misdonduct that stemmed from a major penalty for slashing. Unlike the first, shots were quite lopsided in favour of Wellington, 11-3.


Both goaltenders, Ryckman for Wellington and Jesse Hodgson for Newmarket, stood tall in the final frame. A late goal from newcomer Connor Schmalz with 3:26 left from Ierullo and Todd Winder made things close, but in the end, the Dukes survived the loss of their captain and ran their winning streak up to five games. 


Wellington finished with a 32-25 shot advantage, despite being outshot 9-7 in the third period. Neither team was sharp with the man advantage, with the Dukes going 0-for-7 and Newmarket firing blanks on five opportunities.


The Dukes look to keep their solid pace to the start of the season going when they turn around to face the Burlington Cougars for the first and only time this season at Essroc Arena Friday night.


Story by Brock Ormond

Photo Courtesy: Pointstreak

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