Story by Brock Ormond
Photo: OJHL Images
Another strong defensive performance advanced the Wellington Dukes to three straight victories on Saturday night.
Shane Shelest returned to the crease and outduelled Kyle Downey and the Stouffville Spirit in a 3-1 triumph on the road.
Wellington got an early strike off the stick of Ben Vreugdenhil at 7:21 of the first from Hayden Pimm and Austn Montgomery-Parsons before captain Will Whelton upped the advantage to 2-0 on a sharp shot from the top middle of the zone.
The Whitby born captain’s first of the season and the eventual game-winner was set up by Montgomery-Parsons again and Ethan Quick.
All the while, Shelest was stellar in turning aside drive after drive from the Spirit until the hosts finally broke through at the 13:46 juncture of the third on a Duncan Grube powerplay goal.
That snapped a shutout run of 196:34 for the Dukes dating back to Nov. 5 versus Markham.
Though the gap was closed a bit, Wellington never broke stride and wound up holding off Stouffville’s attack, with Shelest coming up huge with a penalty shot stop off one of the Spirit’s top scorers Peter Kioussis to preserve the ‘W.’
Sacha Trudel iced the game with an empty-netter in the final minute from Quick and Connor Hunt.
Shelest ended with a total of 28 stops for Player of the Game honours leading into the weekend finale against the Centennial Cup host Oakville Blades at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.