Dukes strike first in quarterfinal versus Jr. Canadiens

The Wellington Dukes have struck first in their best-of-seven quarterfinal series with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens.

They achieved a 5-2 victory on Friday night thanks to the play of two of their top regular season forwards Cory Jewitt and Will Mitchell, who compiled four points in Game 1 at Lehigh Arena..

Wellington had to win with a gutsy effort, especially after losing one of their top defencemen Colin Smith to a five-minute major and a game misconduct early in the second period.

After Nathan Phillips and Jewitt traded first period markers, the Dukes produced a key kill of the major penalty, and took a lead with eight-plus minutes left in the second on a Ryan Schaap one-timer set up by Jewitt.

Will Mitchell owned the third period by contributing three of his four points, including a goal from a flutter shot off the left wing that fooled Toronto netminder Josh Branton and proved to be the game-winner at the 4:47 mark of the third period.

He then connected with Ethan Quick and Nick DiPaolo, with the later finishing the passing play on a powerplay to extend the lead to three at 8:49.

Luc Malkhassian got one back on a Toronto man advantage, but Mitchell iced the win with an empty-netter.

Smith, Dimitri Tzaferis, Connor Hunt and Connor Loerzel contributed assists on the scoresheet and Jack Lisson was stellar in his OJHL playoff debut with 34 saves on 36 shots.

After owning home ice, the Dukes go on the road for Game 2 Sunday at 7:15 to Scotiabank Pond in Toronto.