Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images
Special teams won the Wellington Dukes a fourth straight game at home on Sunday afternoon.
After losing a 2-0 lead in a testy second period, the Dukes came back to defeat the Cobourg Cougars 4-2 thanks to two goals on a powerplay and one shorthanded.
Wellington controlled the early pace and kept Cobourg’s dynamic duo Trevor Hoskin and Andy Reist at arms-length while outshooting the visitors 10-4.
Ethan Quick got the scoring started 4:51 into the second by forcing a turnover and deking out Ryan Piros in the Cobourg net to give Wellington its fifth goal while down a man this season.
His 13th of the season was quickly followed by Pana Efraimidis’ 11th of the season, a bullseye wrist shot through traffic that hit the top left corner on Piros on a Wellington powerplay.
Cory Jewitt and Ryan Schaap assisted on the tally.
The Cougars found their legs in the second half of the frame after being held to only nine shots in the first half of the contest.
Kaiden Harmon shot one upstairs off a faceoff win by Matt Mueller, then Belleville’s Hoskin extended his point streak to 18 straight by setting up Carson Durnin for a one-timer, with both goals coming on powerplays.
The tie score was unbroken 30 seconds later after a Cobourg penalty by Jewitt, who won the draw and went straight for the net to deposit a Logan Sitlani shot into the twine.
The Clinton Ont. native’s team-leading 22nd of the season held up as the game-winner, as the Dukes played stellar shutdown hockey in the third and tacked on an empty-netter from Connor Hunt to finish off their 27th win of the season.
Along with Jewitt’s two points, Schaap ended up with a pair of assists. Single helpers went to Hunt, Logan Sitlani, Will Mitchell and Justin Pare.
Shane Shelest was solid with 24 saves and helped the Dukes extend their lead on Cobourg to six points, with the Cougars having five games in hand.
The Dukes are in action for the first and only time in the regular season in Trenton against the Golden Hawks on Friday at 7:30 p.m. for round three of four in the Battle of Quinte.