Nick DiPaolo’s first three OJHL goals helped the Wellington Dukes pull victory out of the jaws of defeat at Lehigh Arena on Friday night.
The 17-year-old native of Burlington, Ont. darted out of the gate to score the winning goal just 17 seconds into the second overtime period, dancing through the Toronto Patriots defence and ripping a laser home to complete the hat trick and finish off a 6-5 comeback win.
He also was responsible for the tying goal as part of a string of five consecutive markers to help the Dukes overcome a 5-1 deficit to get them to 2-0-0-1 on the season.
Toronto jumped ahead 3-0 on goals from Robert Palermo, Dylan Coyle, and Brandon Gill and kept themselves just out of arm’s reach in the second frame.
Zander Latreille completed a nice individual effort, fighting off a close check and hooking in a wraparound marker for his first of the season at 6:23 of the middle frame to cut the deficit to two.
That lasted all of 23 seconds, as the Pats caught a two-on-zero break and got a cleanup goal from Marko Saroglu to re-extend the lead.
A deflection goal on a powerplay from Carson Eagles made the score 5-1, putting the Dukes in position for the comeback.
DiPaolo took an Austin Mongtomery-Parsons feed and ripped home his first marker at 13:56 to slice the deficit.
In the third, Wellington clamped down on defence, protecting goaltender Nolan Lane with only one shot allowed in the final half and coming alive offensively.
Liam Lucas, Cory Jewitt and DiPaolo all hit the net within 1:18 of time to even the score and eventually set the stage for the overtime heroics.
Dimitri Tzaferis assisted on two of the markers, with Justin Pare picking up his first helper. Sacha Trudel, Will Mitchell, Connor Hunt and Zander Latreille added third period and overtime assists.
Lane overcame a shaky start to make 22 saves and earn his second straight win. Shots favoured Wellington 42-27.
The Dukes are next going to battle against the Lindsay Muskies at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Duke Dome.