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DUKES DROP THANKSGIVING TILT IN OT
October 8, 2017
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Devyn Mayea's goal just over a minute into the second overtime period handed the Wellington Dukes their first loss in eight games and gave the Markham Royals a 3-2 win on Thanksigivng Sunday afternoon.

 

The two teams got off to a fairly even start, each firing 11 shots at their respective opposing nets, but it was the visiting Royals that found the scoresheet first. Brett Ouderkirk received a lob pass from Jonathan Prasnjak just inside Wellington territory, got behind the defence and made a move to the backhand to beat Creed Jones upstairs for the only tally of the period.

 

It took over half the game for the Dukes to find their conference-leading offence, but they eventually found the net behind Ryan Coughlin on a goal from Mitch Mendonca with bodies piled up in the Royals crease. Mendonca's fourth of the season was assisted by Ben Evans and Graeme McCrory at 12:29. In the final minute, Daniel Panetta put Wellington in the lead 2-1 on a shot through Coughlin's legs from in close. Mitchell Martan and Andrew Rinaldi got the assists on Panetta's second of the season. Shots favoured Wellington 15-9.

 

The Dukes had their chances to add some comfortability in their lead in period three, but Coughlin continued to steal the show in net with some clutch saves, keeping the Royals in the game. That proved to be a catalyst in allowing Markham to tie the game. With 5:42 left in regulation, Zach Sheedy received a pass from Braedyn Aubin and wired a high, hard shot over Jones' right shoulder to equal the game at two goals apiece and set the stage for overtime.

 

A bizarre sequence occurred before the start of O.T., in which Coughlin was given a pair of misconducts for removing his mask, the second being a game misconduct which forced the Montreal, Que. native to the bench in favour of 16-year old rookie Cole Brady.

 

The Pickering native was greeted with a swarming Wellington attack and showed no rust in denying Declan Carlile of a game-winning goal on the backdoor, kicking out his right pad to keep the game going. Jack Jeffers meantime, got a chance of his own at the Wellington end, but hit the post behind Jones. After a scoreless first overtime period, the Royals caught a break in double O.T. as the three Dukes on the ice - all forwards - got caught in their own zone and defenceman Mayea grabbed the disc, went in all alone and slid the game-winner through Jones' pads to win it for the Royals. Final shots favoured Wellington 43-33.

 

Despite the loss, the Dukes continue to put forth gutsy efforts. Jones in particular was great in goal and earned second star honours with a 30-save effort. They now have earned points in 13 of the first 14 games they've played this season. Their record now sits at 8-1-1-4, with 21 points, still a Northeast Conference-lead.

 

Wellington is off until Friday night, when they are home again to take on a much-improved Mississauga Chargers team at 7:30 p.m.

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