Dukes top Canucks in first-ever meeting

Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images

An inaugural visit to Niagara Falls went extremely well for the Wellington Dukes on Sunday afternoon.

The Dukes poured the rubber on the expansion Canucks net in a 5-1 victory at the Gale Centre.

Hitting the 50-shot plateau for the third time this season, the Dukes were relentless in attacking the Niagara Falls zone and forcing Avery Alves into a busy first frame.

Pana Efraimidis buried the first of his two late in the period, knocking the puck past Alves with the help of Ben Vreugdenhil and Sacha Trudel.

Wellington went to work extending the lead to three in the second on markers from Connor Hunt and Cory Jewitt (on a powerplay) before a bit of penalty trouble of its own gave Connor Thomson-Dick a response goal to keep the Canucks in the game.

The Dukes had full control in the third with 20 shots. Efraimidis sunk the rebound home off a Sacha Trudel shot from the rush for his second of the day and eighth of the season at 3:41 to re-extend the lead.

Nick DiPaolo achieved a powerplay goal in the final quarter of the contest for his fifth of the year to round out a great performance for the Dukes.

Efraimidis led the offensive attack with four points (two assists to go along with his two goals). Trudel and Vreugdenhil each registered two helpers, with single assists being given to Jewitt, Justin Pare, Ethan Quick and Caleb MacDonald.

Jack Lisson was solid when called upon with 25 saves as the Dukes outshot Niagara Falls 50-26.

Wellington’s record now sits at 18-10-0-2 with its latest victory ahead of a Thursday road date with the St. Michael’s Buzzers.