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September 28, 2017
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Story by Brock Ormond

He's only made three starts for the Wellington Dukes, but it appears the County's junior hockey franchise has found the next star in a long line of outstanding young men between the pipes.


18-year old Hamilton-area native Jonah Capriotti earned his third victory - and his first shutout as a Duke - and needed only a Mitchell Martan goal in support of him in a 1-0 win in Newmarket over the Hurricanes Thursday night.


Missing key offensive pieces Jackson Arcan and Rory Milne from their lineup, and facing a tough goaltender in his own right in Fraser Kirk, the Dukes struggled to get offence going for the first part of the contest. The play of Capriotti kept Wellington in the game, with the Hurricanes outshooting them 10-9.


Period two was much of the same story, with Wellington getting into a bit of penalty trouble as well. Fortunately, Capriotti was steady again, taking away some chances from Newmarket's top guns Alex Ierullo, Ryan Hunt and Cole Thiessen. The 'Canes again outshot the Dukes in the period, 10-6.


Newmarket didn't slow down with their opportunities, firing 15 pucks at Capriotti in the third frame. One of those shots came on a Hunt penalty shot, which the Dukes goaltender turned aside with a stick. Eventually, with 5:23 left to go in regulation time, defenceman Alec Tiley played it simple by firing a low shot that deflected off Colin Doyle, then Martan and in past Kirk to give Wellington what would turn out to be the only goal. It was one of those dirty goals that teams have to score in a low-scoring, tight-checking game and the young Dukes accomplished that in timely fashion.


Final shots favoured Newmarket 35-22, but it was Capriotti's efforts in goal that truly proved to be the difference to kickstart a busy weekend on the right foot for his team.


Wellington improves to 5-1-0-3 on the year with 14 points, good for the top spot in the Northeast Conference. The Dukes head back home for their second and third home games of the season when they take on the North York Rangers Friday night at 7:30 and the Aurora Tigers Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at Essroc Arena.

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