Vreugdenhil notches first OJHL goal as Dukes trip Huskies

Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes

An impressive effort in an intimidating building gave the Wellington Dukes a win in the middle of a ‘three-in-three’ Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday.

Ben Vreugdenhil’s first OJHL goal was a game-winner late in the second period to help the Dukes snap a four-game losing streak and secure a 3-1 win in Minden over the Haliburton County Huskies.

The Dukes came out of the gate with energy in a goalless first period and got a strong performance in net from Nolan Lane, who made 13 of his 30 saves in the opening frame.

His play set the tone for the second, as the Dukes continued applying heavy forchecking pressure on a usually stout Huskies defence.

Pana Efraimidis got Wellington on the board, being left alone in front of the net with the puck after the Huskies failed to clear the zone to deke out Logan Kennedy and slip it in.

The St-Laurent, Quebec product’s fourth of the year at 12:09 was helped out by Zach Carrier (first career point) and Justin Pare, who worked to keep the play onside and break Efraimidis loose.

Charlie Fink tied the score nearly five-and-a-half minutes later on a setup by Ty Petrou and captain Patrick Saini, but that lone blemish was quickly glossed over by Vreugdenhil.

The 17-year-old cousin of former captain Jacob Vreugdenhil used his big frame to crash the net and slide home the go-ahead marker with only 1:07 to go in the middle stanza.

Will Mitchell and Efraimidis picked up assists on what turned out to be the difference-making marker.

The Huskies struggled to muster many chances against Lane and the Dukes and were done in by a Connor Hunt empty-netter in the final two minutes.

Cory Jewitt won the draw that led to Hunt clearing the zone and scoring.

The final shots were an even 31 apiece, as the Dukes improved to 6-5-0-2 on the season with 14 points.

The Dukes return to Lehigh Arena to finish out their busy weekend with a Thanksgiving Sunday afternoon tilt against the Burlington Cougars.

Puck drop is slated for 2:30 p.m.