The Trenton Golden Hawks have wrestled the OJHL’s Southeast Conference final series lead away from their archrivals.
Trenton topped Wellington 4-2 in Game 3 at the Duke Dome on Monday night to go ahead 2-1 in the best-of-seven set.
Sam Williamson’s partial breakaway goal 4:44 into the third period stood as the winner, putting the G-Hawks a home win away from taking the driver’s seat in the series.
Wellington got off to a fast start in front of another large crowd, with Ryan Smith barrelling into the G-Hawks zone moments after a Jacob Osborne save at the other end and flipping a puck past Ben Bonisteel.
Smith’s second of the postseason was assisted by Ryan Cutler and David Campbell at 10:58 and it gave the Dukes a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
Trenton began to dominate in the second with a pair of tallies from Jaden Raad and Ryan Holmes (on the powerplay).
Julien Gervais picked up his first OJHL point with an assist on the Raad marker, sifting a clean pass across the seam to Raad for a tap-in. Joe Weber wasn’t credited with an assist, but he did make a big hit to create the play.
Holmes was the beneficiary of a Matt Cato weave move, sticking in the rebound off an Osborne save. Nathan Oickle added to his hefty point total with the second helper.
Williamson’s game winner came off a strange play at centre, when a hit administered by Wellington’s Creo Solomon led to a collision between another Dukes player and Duncan Grube.
As he was falling to the ice, Grube headmanned a rolling puck to Williamson, who caught up to it and deked Osborne for the eventual GWG.
A Julien Jacob marker with 3:36 left pulled the Dukes back to within one, but Grube’s empty-netter in the final minute snuffed out the Dukes attempted rally.
The Golden Hawks outshot Wellington 35-20, with Bonisteel making 18 saves for the win and Osborne kicking aside 31 Trenton drives.
Game 4 is at the Hangar Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.