Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: OJHL Images
The Wellington Dukes had a tough road trip to Markham on Friday, falling 6-3 to the Royals despite a valiant effort.
The Royals gave Wellington fits with their wavy offence all night, but the Dukes stuck with them in the opening 20 minutes thanks to the efforts of Panayioti ‘Pana’ Efraimidis.
The 20-year-old from St-Laurent, Quebec knotted the score even at a goal apiece at 9:36 of the first period after Ben-Chaim Lalkin victimized Jack Lisson and the Dukes early, taking a clearing pass off the glass from Dimitri Tzaferis and ripping a laser past Chris Quizi for his first as a Duke.
Before the ice had a chance to settle in to start the second, Lalkin took the puck right off a centre ice faceoff and wired a high shot past a frozen Lisson to give Markham the advantage back.
Joseph Colangelo put Markham ahead by two a couple of minutes later, before Efraimidis notched his second of the game to cut the deficit to one late in the frame.
With the Dukes on a powerplay, Efraimidis exchanged passes with Tzaferis and Colin Smith before striding to the top of the slot and beaming another laser off the left post and in behind Quizi.
Wellington unfortunately couldn’t escape the period without more damage done, as Shane Bondy cashed in on Markham’s own man advantage to increase the host’s lead back to two.
Ryan Forberg added some insurance for the Royals and although Ethan Quick’s second of the season got Wellington back to within two, it was not meant to be.
An empty-netter from Bondy sealed the Royals victory.
With a helper on the third goal, Efraimidis ended the night with three points in a losing cause.
Jack Lisson made 32 stops as the Royals outshot Wellington 38-33.
The Dukes return home to start October on the right foot, welcoming the Milton Menace for the first time at 2:30 p.m.