Dukes pull rabbit out of hat in overtime comeback

Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images

Just call them the ‘Cardiac Kids’ – the Wellington Dukes pulled off another comeback to claim two points on Friday night.

Down 3-0 after 40 minutes, the Dukes stormed back with four unanswered goals, capped off by Ryan Schaap’s overtime winner to beat the Pickering Panthers for the second time in a week 4-3.

The ‘cats’ pounced on early struggles from the Dukes, burying two powerplay goals off the sticks of Quinte Red Devils graduate Ethan Osborne and Joey Zhang and achieving a shorthanded tally courtesy of Jame Darlson.

A change in goaltenders from Shane Shelest to Jack Lisson seemed to stem the tide in the second, but neither team scored until early in the third.

A loose stick forced a Panther player back to the bench and allowed Caleb MacDonald to set up Austin Montgomery-Parsons for Wellington’s icebreaker at the 3:09 mark.

Ethan Quick chipped in his 12th of the year at 5:54 to close the gap further but the Dukes were only able to equal the score in the final two minutes of regulation thanks to Connor Hunt’s sweep play from the goal line that snuck in under Glen McInnes.

Hunt then factored into the OT sequence, feeding Justn Pare at the blueline for a shot that Schaap got a piece of for his 15th of the season and third as a Duke to seal the win.

Pare had two assists on the night with Colin Smith, Connor Loerzel and Ben Vreugdenhil added other helpers.

Lisson did not allow a goal on 12 shots and even earned third star honours for his work in relief.

Another busy weekend continues with a stop in Aurora on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.