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October 21, 2016
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A pair of veteran netminders went toe-to-toe in another Friday night matchup at the Duke Dome, with Wellington's Connor Ryckman outlasting the Orangeville Flyers' Ruan Badenhorst in a 4-1 Dukes victory.


A scoreless first period saw both goalies turn aside several solid chances. The Dukes missed a few chances to spread a substantial lead on the Flyers, with a Colin Doyle goal getting waved off due to the net being off its peg, a quick whistle when a puck was loose in the Orangeville crease and Brett Schaefer ringing a shot off the inside of the post. Shots ended up favouring Wellington 13-10 in the frame.


It would eventually take over halfway through the second period before the host Dukes officially got on the board first with a man up. Brayden Stortz finished off a tic-tac-toe play with Mitchell Mendonca and Nic Mucci for his 13th goal of the season. That marker would stand up heading into the third, with Badenhorst keeping the Flyers close with 18 saves in the period.


Stortz added his second goal of the game and 14th of the year three-and-a-half minutes into the third after a great centering pass from Brent House. Badenhorst laid out and stopped House on consecutive close chances before the London native eventually found Stortz stationed all alone at the foot of the crease for the tap-in. 17-year-old Nathan Gooch would cut the Dukes lead in half with his first career OJHL goal by roofing a cross-crease Colin Rigney feed. Hudson Lambert drew the other assist on the Ajax product's goal. Later on though, a character sequence from Colin Doyle led to a Mendonca insurance goal, his fourth of the year. Doyle, who was eventually named hardest working player of the game, was given full kudos for the goal in arguably the best individual effort of a game that had quite a few of them, many from Nic Mucci. Stortz completed the hat trick in the final minute by potting an empty-netter to seal the win.


Stortz and Ryckman were once again the keys for the County boys in their 11th win of the season, just their second in six games however. Badenhorst, the former Barrie Colt in the Ontario Hockey League, was as brilliant as he could be in this game as well, stopping 47 shots in a third-star performance.


Wellington has the rest of the weekend off, and will be back in action against their divisional rival from Cobourg on Monday. That game can be heard locally on 800 CJBQ with David Foot starting with the Coaches Pre Game Show at 6:50. They will not be back home until Nov. 4, with a matchup against the Aurora Tigers.


Story by Brock Ormond

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