Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images

Four unanswered goals helped the Wellington Dukes pull away for a pre-Christmas victory on Tuesday night.

Barret Joynt notched a pair of tallies and JH Lages scored his first OJHL goal to lift the Dukes to a 5-1 home win over the Markham Royals.

The visitors kept Wellington largely at bay throughout the better part of two periods after David Campbell wrapped in his 12th of the season just under two minutes into the contest.

Julien Jacob and goaltender Ethan Morrow picked up the assists on Campbell’s marker.

McKay Hayes evened the score later in the first, beating Morrow with a quick shot off an odd-man rush, giving the Royals a chance to stay in the game.

They held Wellington’s potent offence to very few chances after the opening tally, but a Corbin Roach shorthanded goal with 5:36 left in the middle frame ended up being the turning point.

After narrowly missing on a three-on-one break moments before, Vreugdenhil connected with his fellow Bellevillian for his 10th of the year. Creo Solomon added a second helper.

Joynt added some insurance in the final minute of the second from Jared Langdon and Jaxen Boyer, then buried another one at 8:20 of the third with assistance from Jacob Dietz and Roach.

Lages rounded out the scoring by streaking down the right wing side after a loose puck and lasered a wrist shot through Will Nguyen in the Markham net for his first as a Duke.

Connor Hunt and Edward Moskowitz registered the helpers.

Fresh off a silver medal at the World Junior A Challenge in Cornwall, Ont., Ethan Morrow made 21 saves in the win.

He, the injured Matheson Mason, head coach Derek Smith, and athletic therapist Leah Toffelmire, along with Sawyer Prokopetz of the Royals, were honoured for their efforts prior to gametime.

The Dukes now hit the holiday break with a 24-8-2-1 record and will enjoy some much-deserved downtime before taking on the Toronto Patriots on January 6, 2023 at Lehigh Arena at 7:30 p.m.