Dukes trail in series after Tuesday loss

Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images

The Wellington Dukes are facing adversity after a tough 3-2 loss to the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in Game 3 of their Buckland Cup Quarterfinals.

Toronto took the 2-1 series lead with stingy defensive play and two key second period goals from Peter Lopes and Nick Athanasakos, making a lead stand up.

Much like Game 1 at Lehigh Arena, the two teams got through the first 20 minutes even at one, with Luc Malkhassian opening the scoring at 5:35 and Ryan Schaap answering late in the first frame to even the score.

After Toronto goalie Sergei Litvinov kicked out a Pana Efraimidis chance, the rebound went straight to the 19-year-old forward, who powered it full flush into the net at 17:23.

Cory Jewitt also added an assist for his fifth point of the series.

Lopes struck almost four minutes into the second on a long shot from the left point through a traffic jam in front of Jack Lisson in the Wellington cage.

Athanasakos followed at 13:49 with a similar-looking shot on a powerplay that hit Lisson’s glove and went in, standing as the game-winner.

Brad Barker got one back eight minutes into the third by tapping home a rebound off an Austin Montgomery-Parsons shot after Josh Rumolo plugged the puck in deep to the Toronto zone.

A desperate press for an equalizer came up just short for Wellington.

Lisson made 31 saves in another solid performance between the pipes as Toronto outshot the Dukes 34-32.

Wellington will aim to knot the series back up again in Game 4 at Scotiabank Pond at 7:45 p.m. Thursday.