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February 24, 2017
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On a special night for the Wellington Dukes franchise, the Whitby Fury came into the County and spoiled the party, claiming a 5-2 victory in both teams' final games of the season.


The Dukes honoured former volunteer and current Kingston Voyageurs/Kingston Frontenacs' broadcaster Allan Etmanski – who is battling cancer – with a pregame ceremony and fundraiser. The team then went to work on the ice and put the strong crowd of 658 on their feet with a powerplay goal courtesy of Colin Doyle. The Campbellford product's 14th of the year was helped out by Brayden Stortz and Justin Bean. The lead didn't last long however, as  former Duke Nik Coric slid in career-high 23rd goal of the season from John Hudgin and Scott Kirton less than a minute later. Shots favoured the Dukes 15-13 in a back-and-forth period.


Only one goal was recorded in the second frame, as both Connor Ryckman and Austin Cain stood tall in their respective creases. John Hudgin marked down his eighth of the year and fifth as a member of the Fury at 7:42, unassisted. Despite being down 2-1 heading into the third, the Dukes pelted 13 shots to Whitby's eight and showed promise that they would fight ahead.


Things looked good early on in the third stanza for Wellington, as Mitch Mendonca bulged twine just a shade over five minutes in from Austin Labelle and Bean. But it was all Whitby after, as Ryan Heeps scored twice, including once into the empty Wellington cage, placeheld by a Ryan Taylor powerplay goal. Along with the Fury winning by three goals, they also won the shot count, 44-41.


The Fury took all four games in the season series from Wellington with the win Friday night. In addition, Whitby snapped Wellington's five-game winning streak. Despite the defeat, the Dukes finish another successful season with a 31-19-1-3 record and 66 points. Although they are tied with the Kingston Voyageurs for fifth in the Northeast Conference, they will claim the higher seed by virtue of having three more wins than their East rival. They'll turn their sights to the postseason, getting set to face either Cobourg or Whitby in round one. As previously mentioned, the Dukes went 0-4 against Whitby this season, with more success against the Cougars, playing to a 2-2 record.


Story by Brock Ormond

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