|STORTZ PLAYS HERO, DUKES BEAT VEES IN OT|
|February 2, 2017 « Back « Previous Next »|
The Wellington Dukes needed a big win versus their East Division rivals in enemy territory on Thursday night and got won in dramatic fashion.
Brayden Stortz's second goal of the game just 32 seconds into overtime was the dagger in a 4-3 Dukes victory over the Kingston Voyageurs in the Limestone City.
Following a Brandon Nadeau opening goal, the top line of Stortz, Nic Mucci and Colin Doyle went to work, combining on the 27th tally of the season for the Niagara University commitment Mucci. Paired with the 1-1 score at the end of the first period was an 11-8 shot advantage for the host Vees.
Period two started off with a powerplay marker from Stortz, his 34th of the year from Mucci and Justin Bean late in a Danny Bosio interference penalty, putting the Dukes in the lead. Bosio would atone though just 48 seconds later to equal the score again from Rob Clerc and Nadeau. Almost halfway through the period, Thornton native Jackson Arcan scratched another go-ahead goal on the board from Mucci and Doyle. Arcan's seventh of the year held up through the second period, with the Dukes having outshot Kingston 13-12.
Kingston's top players continued to match Wellington's stride for stride in the third, with Dukes backstopper Connor Ryckman having to be busy and steady once again. The visitors one-goal lead held up until a Mitch Mendonca holding penalty late in the frame, followed by a quick Voyageurs strike courtesy of former Kingston Frontenac (OHL) Austin Grzenia. Cole Beckstead and Clerc pitched in on Grzenia's eighth of the year with the Vees. That marker set the table for overtime – and Stortz's heroics – with Kingston having outshot Wellington 17-10 in the period.
There would only be one shot required in that O.T. stanza and it was good enough to lock up two points for the Dukes. Stortz stepped in and hammered a puck past Vees' goalie Zach Springer to seal the win from Bean and Carter Allen. Final shots favoured Kingston 40-32 in a losing cause.
Wellington earns a much needed two points, but the Voyageurs do stay one up on the County team for fourth in the East Division and fifth in the Northeast Conference. They do clinch the season series, having won four of five games this year. The Dukes record now sits at 26-17-1-3 with 56 points heading into the middle game of their busy weekend set. They'll head to Markham to face the Royals Friday night at 7:30 before a Sunday matchup with Aurora.
Story by Brock Ormond