Dukes drop tight affair

Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images

A stingy defensive effort from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens kept the Wellington Dukes at bay on Sunday night.

Two first period markers would be all Toronto could muster offensively, but it was enough to slip past the Dukes 2-1.

Josh Branton’s 24 saves in the Toronto net gave the Jr. Canadiens lots of confidence, but it was the play of the whole team that limited Wellington’s high-tempo offence following markers from Chris Soares and Connor Van Weelie more than seven minutes apart in the first frame.

Dukes goalie Shane Shelest, making his second straight start since being acquired from the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, stopped a penalty shot by Van Weelie later in the first as part of his collection of 31 saves.

Dimitri Tzaferis finally got the Dukes on the board on a late powerplay, ripping a quick dart over a shot over Branton’s glove at 14:37.

Pana Efraimidis and Zander Latreille set up Tzaferis’ first tally as a Duke.

The Dukes fell just short despite that tally, as they frantically attempted to tie it at the buzzer, but didn’t go down without a fight, as a scrum ensued at the end of the contest.

The team will be in Brantford to face the 6-6 99ers for the one and only time this season on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.