Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images
A tough battle in Toronto left the Wellington Dukes with one point and a lot of ‘what ifs’ on Sunday night.
The Dukes hit no fewer than four goalposts as they saw two separate one-goal leads slip away in a 5-4 defeat to the #4 CJHL ranked Toronto Jr. Canadiens.
Wellington started out well against the OJHL’s top team, subduing their high-powered offence in a goalless first period and then jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second period.
Luke Lapalm and Jacob Vreugdenhil got the goals for Wellington, their 14th and 13th of the season, respectively, before the Jr. Canadiens struck back with two goals in less than a minute from Jordan Karafile and Niko Laus.
Barret Joynt knocked in a rebound with 1:14 left in a busy middle frame to restore the Wellington lead, his seventh of the season.
Lapalm took a Corbin Roach feed and caught Toronto goalie James Norton under the crossbar for his second of the game and 15th of the year at 4:37 of the third period to give Wellington its two-goal advantage back.
At that point, a sleeping giant awoke for the Jr. Canadiens in the form of Tyler Fukakusa.
The league’s leading scorer found the net twice in the second half of the frame to force overtime.
Edward Moskowitz nearly ended it before OT when he rang a shot off the crossbar in the dying seconds of regulation.
Both teams traded chances in the extra sessions, before Alex Laurenza was sprung on a breakaway and beat Ethan Morrow at 2:51 of the second overtime period to steal the extra point.
Vreugdenhil added an assist for a two-point game, Graeme McCauley picked up a pair of helpers, and Morrow made 25 stops in the defeat.
Wellington’s eight-game winning streak is now over, but the single point puts its point streak at nine games and its record now sits at 14-5-2-1 on the season.
The Dukes now get set for Round 2 of the Battle of Quinte versus the Trenton Golden Hawks at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.