Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: OJHL Images/Wellington Dukes
In the middle of a three-game-in-three day series, the Wellington Dukes needed to play extra hockey on Saturday.
Thanks to some dramatics from Barret Joynt, the Dukes escaped a battle with the number one team in the OJHL, the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, with a 1-1 tie.
Joynt evened the score with 20 seconds left in regulation time to secure a key point for Wellington to keep them within four points of the Haliburton County Huskies for second in their conference.
The game largely belonged to the goalies, with Wellington’s Jacob Osborne and Toronto’s Chazz Nixon matching each other save for save through the first 40 minutes.
The Jr. Canadiens finally broke on top 7:18 into the third period, when Hayden Heinrich pounced on a loose puck off a faceoff and beat Osborne with a quick snap shot.
That tally appeared like it was going to be the difference until the Jr. Canadiens incurred a penalty with 90 seconds left in the final regulation stanza.
The Dukes pulled Osborne for an extra attacker to set the stage for the equalizer. Joynt buried a loose puck in the crease area after Luke Strickland and Julien Jacob worked it to the net for his 20th of the season.
Neither team was able to jump ahead for the win, with Luke LaPalm’s partial breakaway chance in the dying seconds of the second extra period being the best opportunity for a winner.
The Jr. Canadiens outshot Wellington 35-29 and Osborne’s 34 saves were good enough to earn him a star.
The Dukes are now up to 67 points on the season heading into a Super Bowl Sunday afternoon game in Caledon at 2:30 p.m.