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October 2, 2016
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Like they did on Friday night on home ice, and all through the 2016-17 season so far, the Wellington Dukes once again got some big reinforcements from their top line and their goaltender in a tidy 4-1 win over the Markham Royals.


Nic Mucci scored twice – including the game-winner – and Brayden Stortz added three assists to boost his league leading point total to 29. Connor Ryckman made 34 saves on 35 shots and lost a shutout in the third period for the second straight game.


The Dukes would score early and incredibly late in period one. Former Alliston Hornet Jr. C standout Jackson Arcan got things started just over a minute in on a quick, fluttering shot that eluded Royals goaltender Marcus Semiao on the glove hand side. Arcan’s third of the season gave his team the early lead, which was followed by a buzzer-beating goal much later on the period from captain Justin Bean. He took a pass across from Brayden Stortz and rifled it low blocker side past Semiao to give the Dukes a big marker heading into the intermission. Stortz and Brent House drew assists. His tally proved to be the eventual game-winner. Shots did favour Markham in the period 11-10 despite their two-goal deficit.


Mucci got the only goal of the second frame, burying his first of two past Connor McCollum, who took over the job between the posts from Semiao after the first for unknown reasons. Mucci's fifth of the season was a powerplay marker from Tyler Harrison and Stortz to expand the lead. Shots came in bunches in the period, with the Dukes outshooting Markham 17-15


Markham got one back almost halfway through the third after former Kirkland Lake Gold Miner Brett Ouderkirk drove wide and got a close range shot on Ryckman before Doug Carter popped the rebound home. Carter’s fourth of the season would not be enough to usurp the Dukes on Sunday afternoon however. Mucci essentially put the game to bed with a beauty snipe over McCollum’s left shoulder on a 2-on-2 rush. Stortz picked up his third helper of the game on Mucci’s second goal of the game and sixth of the season. Final shots favoured Wellington 12-9 in the period, 39-35 for the game.


With the win, the Dukes move to 9-1 in their first 10 games on the 2016-17 season. The #2 team in the CJHL will look to build on to their stellar play Thursday night when they travel to Stouffville to clash with the Spirit.


Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Nic Mucci, #9 of the Wellington Dukes scored two big goals Sunday afternoon to lead his team to a 4-1 win over the host Markham Royals

Photo by Ed McPherson, OJHL Images

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