Dukes end preseason with comeback win

The Wellington Dukes are setting themselves up for a wildly entertaining season after a victory at home to end the 2023 OJHL preseason.

The Dukes ripped off a five-goal third period to overcome the Cobourg Cougars 6-4 on Friday night at Lehigh Arena.

Wellington’s start wasn’t the strongest in terms of goals, as Jack Lisson had to keep the team close against a hard-nosed Cobourg attack.

Logan Kelly scored off a draw in the first period, and Kaiden Harmon struck quickly in the second, bagging a goal eight seconds into the stanza, but Zander Latreille answered back later on.

The Windsor native tapped in a feed from Ben Vreugdenhil after speedy 17-year-old Nick DiPaolo nearly scored himself on a partial break.

Latreille nabbed another one at 7:30 of the third period to kick off the onslaught.

Trevor Hoskin gave Cobourg the lead back on a two-on-one, but then Matt Whelton, Sacha Trudel, Connor Hunt and DiPaolo rattled off consecutive tallies to win going away.

Dimitri Tzaferis chipped in two assists and along with Vreugdenhil and Dipaolo, Latreille, Austin Montgomery-Parsons, Cory Jewitt, Hayden Pimm, Connor Loerzel, and Mason Goodfellow contributed one helper each.

Jack Lisson made 36 saves on 40 shots, playing the whole game in net.

The Dukes finish the preseason 2-1 and now get set for their 35th anniversary regular season opener next Friday against the Toronto Jr. Canadiens at the Duke Dome at 7:30 p.m.

Almost 40 alumni players are expected to make their return to Wellington to celebrate the occasion.