Story by Brock Ormond
PHOTO: OJHL IMAGES
The Wellington Dukes are ahead 3-0 in their best of seven Southeast Conference Quarterfinal Series with the St. Michael’s Buzzers.
A recap of the series to this point is below.
GAME 1- BUZZERS 4 @ DUKES 7
It was a tight battle, but the Wellington Dukes offensive depth eventually took over in a series-opening win on Wednesday night.
The Dukes broke out of a tie with three unanswered goals to win 7-4 over the St. Michael’s Buzzers in Game 1 of the Southeast Conference Quarter-final series at Lehigh Arena.
On three separate occasions, the Dukes held leads that were wiped away by St. Mike’s markers, before Ed Moskowitz took matters into his own hands in the final minute of the second.
The Toronto native took the puck from his own end and squeezed the puck top shelf over Buzzers goalie Christian Trianni for his 1st OJHL playoff goal with 46 seconds left in the frame for what turned out to be the winning goal.
Luke Strickland and Connor Hunt (into an empty net) picked up the insurance tallies to help the Dukes win going away.
After Wellington’s fast start courtesy of Jacob Vreugdenhil and Barret Joynt markers in the first five minutes, St. Mike’s offensive stars countered with Giacomo Martino and Brandon Cohen finding the net
Julien Jacob ripped one home at the tail end of a powerplay to give the Dukes the lead back heading into the second period, but in that frame, Luke Perovic deflected home a point shot to even the count again.
Corbin Roach and Cohen traded goals before Moskowitz’s highlight-quality tally to wrestle the game away.
16 players had at least one point in the game in a true balanced attack and Ethan Morrow overcame a couple of shaky goals to make 23 stops.
The Dukes carry a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 Friday night at St. Michael’s College Arena at 7:30 p.m.
GAME 2- DUKES 7 @ BUZZERS 0
The story was the same on offence as the first playoff game of 2023 for the Wellington Dukes – seven goals from seven different sources.
However in a 7-0 Game 2 victory over the St. Michael’s Buzzers, it was strong goaltending from Jacob Osborne that made headlines as well.
The Gloucester native turned away all 22 shots he faced to extend Wellington’s Southeast Conference quarterfinal series lead on Friday night.
Jacob Vreugdenhil was one of six players to record a multiple-point game, and started off the scoring for the second game in a row at the 10:18 mark of the first.
Matheson Mason chipped in goal number two from Edward Moskowitz and Ryan Smith to get the Dukes off and running.
Luke Strickland cashed in on a powerplay and Corbin Roach scored off a faceoff in the second to increase the spread to 4-0.
As Osborne continued to hold steady at the other end, Barret Joynt flashed in his second tally in as many playoff games this year from Ryan Cutler just 48 seconds into the third to make it 5-0.
David Campbell walked in and ripped a hard wrister past Christian Trianni with assistance from Smith and Vreugdenhil and then Moskowitz finished the scoring off late in the frame to round out the scoring.
Campbell, Luke LaPalm and Julien Jacob had the other multi-point games after Vreugdenhil, Moskowitz, and Smith.
The Dukes outshot the Buzzers 37-22 and head back home for Game 3 in great spirits on Sunday at Lehigh Arena at 3:30 p.m.
GAME 3- BUZZERS 1 @ DUKES 4
The Wellington Dukes are one win away from a birth in Round 2 of the OJHL Buckland Cup Playoffs.
Barret Joynt and Ed Moskowitz came through with powerplay markers for their third goals in as many games to give the Dukes a 4-1 Game 3 quarterfinal victory over the St. Michael’s Buzzers on Sunday afternoon.
Prior to puck drop, the organization brought out its billet families to thank and recognize them for their efforts to house the players and help them through the season.
Each team traded chances early on, with Matt Milic breaking the scoreless tie on a powerplay with a wrister from the point and Trevor McDowell answering with a fantastic goal.
The Bancroft native took the puck from the red line and deked Jacob Gorinsky, sticking a backhand shot through the five-hole for his first OJHL goal and first as a Duke.
Connor Hunt and Julien Jacob got the assists on the marker.
Jacob, the Dukes top-scoring defenceman from the season, helped administer another goal with a slapshot from the point that led to a rebound that Barret Joynt slipped in for the go-ahead marker at 4:53.
Luke LaPalm added the second helper on what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Gorinsky and the Buzzers kept it tight until the final eight minutes or so, when Ryan Smith and Ryan Cutler helped propel the puck to the net for Moskowitz to hack home a rebound on, giving the Dukes bit more breathing room.
The goal extended Moskowitz’s goal streak to five.
Luke Strickland deposited an empty-net goal from Joynt and goaltender Jacob Osborne to finish off the win.
Along with Osborne’s assist, he made 16 stops in his primary responsibility for his second straight victory.
The Dukes defence was steady again, holding the Buzzers to just 17 shots while putting 39 on Gorinsky.
Wellington could end the series with a victory on Tuesday night back at St. Michael’s College Arena at 7:30 p.m.