Dukes persistence pays off to earn third straight victory

Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes

Logan Sitlani’s first junior hockey goal helped the Wellington Dukes avoid a scare against the last place North York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Sitlani took a feed from Ethan Quick and deposited it upstairs at the four-minute mark of the third period to break open a tie game and defeat the Rangers 4-1.

The win was Wellington’s third in a row.

Despite sitting in the OJHL’s East Conference basement with seven wins, the Rangers played a tenacious brand of hockey and got some big saves from goalie Amir Valiullin to keep the game at zeroes for almost the whole first half of the game.

Wellington continued to get good looks and miss some close chances, before Austin Montgomery-Parsons converted his seventh of the season on a rebound from a Hayden Pimm shot almost halfway through the second period.

Sitlani added the second assist, ending up with a two-point game in the end.

The lead lasted all of 14 seconds, with Trent Warren floating a shot over Jack Lisson’s right shoulder to retie the score going into the third.

The 17-year-old Sitlani touched off a string of three unanswered goals, followed by a snipe on a three-on-two rush from Will Mitchell and a neat setup by Nick DiPaolo to Zander Latreille to put the Rangers away.

Ethan Quick, Ryan Schaap, Connor Hunt, Cory Jewitt and Colin Smith all added the other assists in a balanced effort and Jack Lisson made

Wellington poured 47 pucks on Valiullin, including 19 in the first period alone and wore him down by the end.

The Dukes rematch with the Pickering Panthers at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lehigh Arena, starting another three-game weekend.