Dukes snap three-game losing skid over Panthers

Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images

The Wellington Dukes forged through the Pickering Panthers 5-2 to snap a three-game losing skid on Friday night.

Ryan Schaap scored his first two goals as a Duke, beginning the game’s scoring with a powerplay goal 12 minutes on the nose into period one, slapping a shot off a missed opportunity from Pana Efraimidis.

Cory Jewitt chipped in with an assist as well on Schaap’s 13th of the year in total.

Jamie Darlison tied it a bit later on for the Panthers thanks to a powerplay tally.

Colin Smith bulged the twine for his third of the season off a faceoff while the two teams were playing four-on-four, helped by a Jewitt faceoff win and a Connor Loerzel setup.

Schaap’s second of the game, burying a rebound off an Ethan Quick chance, came just 23 seconds into the third and turned out to be key, as it held up as the game-winner.

Pickering made that status precarious though, as its leading scorer Nick Athanasakos scored on a shorthanded breakaway, then almost scored on another clean break a couple of shifts later, but was robbed by the glove of Dukes goalie Jack Lisson.

That save proved to be crucial, as Efraimidis went on to deflect a Zander Latreille pass into the back of the net for an insurance goal at 14:29.

Dimitri Tzaferis added a helper on that goal, then iced the score with an empty-netter from Efraimidis (his third point of the night to lead the team) and Logan Sitlani.

The Dukes outshot Pickering 48-29, with Lisson making 27 stops in the win and Quinte Red Devils graduate Glen McInnes shielding 43 Wellington chances in the Panthers crease.

The Dukes stay at home to face the Stouffville Spirit at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.