Story by Brock Ormond

Photo: Wellington Dukes/OJHL Images

The North York Rangers paved a hard road for the Wellington Dukes on Sunday night, but the Dukes found a way to grind out another victory thanks to their depth.

The Dukes upped their winning streak to four games with a 4-1 victory, led by a Connor Hunt hat trick.

The Madoc native got the ball rolling early by shooting low to beat Nicolas Morvan off a rush only 1:10 into the game.

At the 4:49 mark, Corbin Roach wrapped the puck around the North York net, glancing it off Morvan and in with assistance from Barret Joynt and Julien Jacob.

Wellington’s fast start made it seem like it was going to be another rout over the Rangers, after victories of 8-4, 8-1 and 11-2 earlier in the season.

However, the Rangers played the Dukes tough, making life difficult on Ethan Morrow and the defence.

After Jacob Strizzi beat Morrow with a rifle off the crossbar to cut Wellington’s lead in half, the Kingston backstopper had to make two highlight-reel saves off Riley Patterson on a breakaway and on a two-on-one break to preserve his team’s advantage.

Those two stops were the best of his 24 on the night and allowed his team to add some insurance in the third.

Hunt potted his second of the game at 10:23 from Ed Moskowitz and Jacob Vreugdenhil, then deposited an unassisted empty-netter in the dying seconds to complete his first career junior hat trick.

Wellington outshot North York 43-25 in the game, improving to 28-9-2-2 on the season with 60 points.

That sits the team one point behind the Haliburton County Huskies for second in the Southeast Conference after they lost to the Toronto Jr. Canadiens.

The Dukes will take on the Mississauga Chargers at home Friday at 7:30 p.m.