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December 18, 2016
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It was the Aaron Taylor show on Sunday afternoon at Essroc Arena.


The host Wellington Dukes threw everything they had at the Stouffville Spirit overage netminder, but nothing could shake him in a 55 save, first star performance in a 2-1 Stouffville victory.


The Dukes thought they had the opening goal early on after a flurry of chances on the Spirit goal, when Brent House set up Brett Schaefer in a good shooting area and he roofed his shot. However, the goal was waved off by head referee Chris Galway after it was deemed that the net had come off its moorings. The controversial play did not deter the Dukes however, as Colin Doyle eventually did get his team on the board first, deflecting home a Brody Morris point shot for his seventh marker of the year. Brayden Stortz bumped his league-leading point total to 53 with a secondary assist on the goal. The lead would not last more than 50 seconds, as rookie Thomas Tinmouth notched the 10th goal of his season on a broken play from fellow freshman James Waldron and Brett McInall to tie the game. Despite the even score count, the Dukes clearly controlled the vast majority of the play and the shots as well, hammering 19 pucks on Stouffville's net compared to just nine for the Spirit.


Wellington continued to dominate in the second frame, outshooting Stouffvile 17-8. The Spirit were able to score the only goal of the period however, at the 12:51 mark. With Dukes captain Justin Bean in the sin bin, Waldron took a perfect diagonal pass from veteran Spirit captain Cameron Lintner and buried a shot short-side past Dukes netminder Victor-Olivier Courchesne to give his team the lead. The youngster's sixth tally of the season turned out to be the game-winner.


The Dukes continued to push and prod at Taylor, never taking the proverbial foot off the gas pedal, and getting several chances on scrambles and rebounds. In the end, Taylor was just simply too strong on this day, as the Gormley native's 55 saves arguably has to have been the greatest goaltending performance in OJHL history. Shots favoured the Dukes again 20-10 for a grand total of 56-27 for the contest.


Wellington's effort was there in this game, but they just could not solve Taylor and the Spirit capitalized on their opportunities. Wellington falls to 18-12-1-2 with the loss and will look to rebound in their final game before the Christmas break on Tuesday night against the Markham Royals at 7:30 p.m. This game is a makeup game from November 13.


Story by Brock Ormond

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