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October 24, 2016
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A 47 save performance from Wellington Dukes goaltender Connor Ryckman was the key catalyst on Monday night in a narrow 2-1 victory over their divisional rivals, the Cobourg Cougars.


Ryckman was sensational as he faced a barrage of close-range shots in the contest, including 37 in the final two periods combined. The Dukes ran into some penalty trouble in those frames, and the Minesing, Ont. native was right there to the task at every corner, turning away the Cougars big cogs. 


Wellington scored their two goals early on, with Mitchell Mendonca burying his fifth of the season just over a minute into the hockey game from Brayden Stortz and Nic Mucci, and Justin Bean ripping a hard shot from the point past Cougars goaltender Stefano Durante. The lone assist on the Dukes' captain's sixth goal of 2016-17 went to Mack Warren.


From that point on, the Dukes did everything they could to hold on against a team they had already won once against this season going in. With a loud, boisterous crowd at the Cobourg Community Centre behind them, the Cougars were able to goad the Dukes into their aforementioned penalty trouble and got plenty of golden scoring chances out of them. Ryckman proved to be spotless in response, save for a second period Matthew Busby goal. The Shanty Bay native's first goal of the year and first as a Cougar was assisted by Sam Dunn and Josh Maguire.


The brilliant play of Ryckman continued in the scoreless third frame, right down to the final buzzer, turning aside opportunity upon opportunity. The final result was Wellington's 12th win of the season and the end of Cobourg's 12 game winning streak and 8 game home win stretch. The Dukes bookended the streak, having been the only team to beat the RBC hosts this season.


The Dukes look to carry the momentum of this gratifying win into another huge divisional battle on Friday, when they head to Trenton to take on the arch-rival Golden Hawks.


Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Connor Ryckman was brilliant in a 47-save effort against the Dukes' divisional rivals, the Cobourg Cougars on Monday, Oct. 24 in a 2-1 Wellington win.

Photo by Ed McPherson, OJHL Images

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