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October 6, 2016
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A late goal from Brent House was a key catalyst in the Wellington Dukes earning a hard fought 2-2 tie with the North Division-leading Stouffville Spirit on the road Thursday night.

Goaltenders Connor Ryckman and Aaron Taylor both stood tall with some huge saves to keep their respective teams in the hockey game. Three out of the four markers scored in the game came in the first period, with former Cobourg Cougar Josh Argier scoring just 4:43 in. Another former Cougar, Justin Bennett, and returning forward Jackson Savery drew assists. The Spirit spread their lead later on in the first frame on a goal by Tyler Kulba, his fourth of the year. Kyle Thomas and Joseph Visconti had helpers. The two-goal deficit did not last long for the Dukes though, as Tyler Harrison buried his first career OJHL goal just 15 seconds after the Kulba goal. Evan Foley and Colin Doyle assisted on the former Ayr Centennial's tally. A late opportunity to tie the game with two Spirit players in the penalty box came up short for the Dukes. Wellington outshot Stouffville 11-8 in the period despite carrying the one goal deficit into the intermission.

No goals were pocketed in the second despite both teams coming up with great opportunities and the tight play carried over into the third. Finally, the top line broke through with just under four minutes to play in regulation time. House slipped in his ninth goal of the season past Taylor with some assistance from Brody Morris and Brayden Stortz, who had largely been shut down by the Spirit up until that point.

The Dukes couldn't convert on a late third period Stouffville penalty in the first overtime and Ryckman came up huge at the other end in the second overtime, as the contest ended in a tie. This was both Wellington and Stouffville's first deadlock of the season.

The Dukes outshot 37-26, but Taylor's brilliant play in goal for the Spirit (35 saves) earned his team one point. Ryckman stopped 24 shots in the Dukes cage.

The County boys will have a quick and wicked turnaround tomorrow night, as they get set to face a tough test in the Georgetown Raiders, who lead the West Division in wins and points. Game time 7:30 from the Essroc Arena.


Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Tyler Harrison, #19 of the Dukes, scored his first goal with Wellington and first in the OJHL in the first period of his team's 2-2 tie with the Stouffville Spirit Thursday night.

Photo by Ed McPherson, OJHL Images

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