Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: Ed McPherson/OJHL Images
A heavy game was played by both the Wellington Dukes and Trenton Golden Hawks in Round 2 of the Battle of Quinte, with the G-Hawks pulling out a 3-2 victory on Sunday.
Wellington’s Lehigh Arena was buzzing all day long, and it galvanized both teams, as they came out with some heavy hits in a goalless first period.
The Dukes broke through first almost halfway through the second stanza after Ethan Quick’s deke try set off a flurry of action that resulted in the puck going to Nick Brady, who one-timed it past a downed Ben Bonisteel in the Trenton net.
Brady’s fourth of the season and first as a Duke was assisted by Nick DiPaolo and Pana Efraimidis at 9:26 to get the majority of the crowd celebrating.
Trenton began to prove why it is one of the top teams in Canada and used a dangerous powerplay to score twice in a little more than three minutes.
Cooper Matthews ripped a David Fournier cross seam pass past Jack Lisson exactly three minutes after the opening goal to even the score with his fifth of the season.
David Fournier was in perfect position to tap in a rebound to put Trenton in the lead from Owen Wilson and Adam O’Marra at 15:48.
Wellington pulled level with the Golden Hawks for a moment with 9:08 left in the third on Pana Efraimidis’ 10th of the year from Zander Latreille and Dimitri Tzaferis, but a tired Dukes squad on the tail end of a three game-in-three-day weekend couldn’t overcome Trenton’s relentless attack.
O’Marra finished a three-way passing sequence with Matthews and Fournier off a Wellington turnover to raise his team-leading goal total to 24 with 7:31 remaining in regulation to lock down the win.
The Golden Hawks outshot the Dukes 35-26, with Lisson making 32 stops in the loss and Bonisteel securing the win with 24 saves.
The loss snapped Wellington’s five-game winning streak.
The Golden Hawks improve to 28-5-0-1 and extend their lead atop the East Conference to nine points, while Wellington finishes the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule at 23-14-0-2 with 48 points.
The Dukes will go on and enjoy their Christmas break before returning to bid adieu to 2023 on New Year’s Eve at 2 p.m. versus the Haliburton County Huskies.