Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images
The Wellington Dukes exerted maximum effort against a pesky Cobourg Cougars outfit to steal away two points from their rivals and rebound from a tough shutout loss.
Two of the Dukes biggest offensive threats came up clutch in the crucial moments, with Connor Hunt hammering home the tying marker in the final two minutes and Will Mitchell rifling home the game-winner on a powerplay in overtime to edge the Cobourg Cougars 3-2 on Friday night.
Wellington engaged in a tight affair with the Cougars, who played strong defence for much of the night and the play of both Shane Shelest in the Dukes crease and Cobourg’s Reece Herman kept the game at zeroes through one period.
Cory Jewitt slid home his 11th of the year to briefly tie for the team-lead in goals just 1:16 into the middle stanza, with assistance from Pana Efraimidis and Nick DiPaolo.
Wellington’s lead lasted all of 54 seconds, as Jack Lowry and Chris Brydges teamed up to help get former Quinte Red Devil Cooper Kellar his first OJHL goal.
The score remained tied into the third, when another local product Trevor Hoskin was left alone to accept an Andy Reist feed and undress Shelest for his 15th of the year at 6:18 of the frame.
With only 1:36 left in regulation, Connor Hunt retook the team goal-scoring lead with his tying marker on a set-up from behind the net courtesy of Sacha Trudel, who threw no fewer than three massive hits on Cobourg players at various points.
Ethan Quick drew the second assist.
Cobourg defenceman Riley Pitt’s slashing minor on Trudel behind the play in overtime put the Dukes in position to win and they didn’t miss on their opportunity.
Will Mitchell took a pass at the left faceoff circle and went high over Herman’s right shoulder to bank the extra point for Wellington.
Efraimdis added his second assist of the game and Zander Latreille also got in on the winning tally in front of a solid crowd at Lehigh Arena.
The Dukes outshot Cobourg 33-28, with Shelest earning first star honours after a 26-save performance.
Wellington, now 13-8-0-2 on the season, gets a day off before visiting the Markham Royals on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.