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December 9, 2016
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A tight-checking, low scoring affair on Friday night at Essroc Arena ended in the Wellington Dukes' favour.


It took them until the 16:04 mark of the third period before Kyle Prendel's third goal in five games broke a 1-1 tie and allowed the Dukes to squeeze out a 2-1 win over the visiting Newmarket Hurricanes.


The Hurricanes dressed only 14 skaters for the contest, but stuck with the Dukes through the bulk of 60 minutes, largely on the strong play of goaltender Jesse Hodgson. The hosts outshot Newmarket 9-3 in period one, but could not put a dent in the armour of the 'Canes netminder.


It wasn't until with 6:16 left to play in the second before the Dukes finally scratched the scoresheet. Colin Doyle scored his fifth of the season on a set-up from veterans Brody Morris and Brayden Stortz to put the Dukes up by one. Their chance to spread the lead on a late powerplay was foiled when the Hurricanes broke out of their zone on an odd-man rush and beat Dukes workhouse goalie Connor Ryckman. With defenceman Eric Kloucek in the box, Peterborough Petes prospect Nicholas Favaro bulged twine with help from former Belleville Bulls draft pick Christian DeDonato and Cole Thiessen to tie the game with 1:27 left in the frame. The tie score held into the intermission, with the Dukes finishing at a 14-12 shot advantage in the period.


The third period was a hard-battling stanza that required some timely play in the nets from both Ryckman and Hodgson. Prendel's unassisted icebreaker came with 3:56 to play in regulation to put the Dukes up. The Brooklyn, Michigan native's third of the year eventually stood up to be the game-winner. The Dukes fended off a late rally to pull out their third win in a row after a full week off. Wellington outshot Newmarket 9-7 in the period for a 32-22 final total.


The Dukes improve to 17-10-1-2 with 37 points following the victory, tying Kingston for fifth in the Northeast Conference following the Voyageurs' overtime loss to Lindsay. They will turn right around and head to Etobicoke to face the Toronto Patriots for the one and only time this season tomorrow night.


Story by Brock Ormond

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