Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: Ed McPherson/OJHL Images
Sacha Trudel’s double overtime heroics capped off a thrilling 5-4 victory for the Wellington Dukes over the St. Michael’s Buzzers on Friday night at Lehigh Arena.
The 18-year-old Montreal, Quebec native deflected a Cory Jewitt shot through the pads of Jacob Gorinsky in the St Mike’s net for the winner with 35 seconds left in the second OT period to send the fans home happy and satisfied.
That capped off a wild game where the Dukes had to come back from three separate one-goal deficits to take a late lead, only to see the Buzzers even the score in the final minute to force bonus hockey.
St. Mike’s emerged with a 2-1 advantage after 20 minutes as Connor Hunt’s ninth of the season from Logan Goodwin and Nick DiPaolo was sandwiched by tallies from Nathan Degazio and Brandon Cohen.
Wellington tied the score at 11:52 of the second period, taking advantage of a Too Many Men bench minor by the Buzzers on a marker by Cory Jewitt.
The 19-year-old forward slotted the puck under Gorinsky’s right pad for his ninth of the season after accepting a pass from Pana Efraimidis. Zander Latreille added the second assist.
Wellington couldn’t escape the period without another push by the Buzzers and Marco Iozzo found a way to bulge the twine with 1:08 left to help St. Mike’s retake the lead.
Out of a scramble in the late stages of the third, Efraimidis jammed in his fifth of the year to even the score, then Ethan Quick took a Latreille pass and rifled a wrister off the post and in behind Gorinsky with 2:33 left in regulation.
That however, still wasn’t enough to win outright, as Cohen got a fortunate bounce off a David Green shot for his second of the game with 40 seconds left to force overtime – and Trudel’s heroics.
Shane Shelest made his debut in the Dukes net after being acquired earlier in the week from the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Okotoks Oilers, making 28 saves in the win, including one big left arm save off Jonathan Morello with an open net in the third and a penalty shot save off Ethan Nobes.
The Dukes outshot the Buzzers 42-32 in improving to over .500 again at 7-6-0-2.
They will take on the Toronto Jr. Canadiens at Scotiabank Pond at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday in their next game.