Dukes reel Muskies twice to land four big points

Wellington Dukes netminder Matthew Keeley picked up his second OJHL shutout on Thursday night in a 6-0 win over Aurora at Lehigh Arena. (Ed McPherson / OJHL Images)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

Any points are big points at this stage of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s regular season and, even though they came against the East Division cellar dwelling Lindsay Muskies, the Wellington Dukes are quite happy to have a home-and-home sweep thank you very much.

With the back-to-back wins, Wellington improved their record to 32-9-2 and their 66 points is good enough for second place in the circuit, five behind division leading Trenton who have played four more games than the locals to this point in the 2019-20 campaign.

The Dukes are very much in charge of their own fate and still boast the Northeast Conference’s best overall winning percentage at .767.

But that winning percentage after 42 games with a bunch of games in hand over the Golden Hawks won’t mean too much if Wellington doesn’t win the games they should.

Those would include contests against a Lindsay club with just five wins this season heading into the weekend’s competition.

Wellington had a relatively easy time of it on Friday as the visiting Dukes mounted the Muskies 7-0.

Matt Keeley got the starting assignment and stopped all Lindsay volleys for his first OJHL shutout.

In terms of Wellington goal scorers, scoring details had yet to be made available as the electronic game sheet hadn’t made it to the OJHL offices from the Lindsay Recreation Complex via pony express as of Monday afternoon.

On Sunday, Wellington faced a stiffer test as the visitors built a 2-0 lead through the first period.

Curtis Trolley came steaming down the tracks just nine seconds into the game and beat Matt Dunsmoor on the first shot of the game.

Later in the first, it was Trolley making a second stop at the Wellington net and slipping the puck past Dunsmoor at the 13:25 mark.

The leather-bound larcenous efforts of Lindsay goalie Andrew Vigliatore were looking like an emerging storyline through at least the first two periods.

Wellington finally solved Vigliatore in the second as Dylan Massie scored a power play goals at the 6:00 minute mark but the Dukes couldn’t manage a second goal and ended the middle stanza down 2-1 despite outshooting the visitors by a 32-16 margin.

But in the third and with two valuable points in the offing, Wellington ramped up their game and would light the lamp four times in total.

Dawson Ellis got the Dukes back to even 2:54 and then Jake Gagnon bagged the game winner just 2:2 later.

Masse notched his second of the game at 14:20 and then Dan Panetta hit the vacated Muskie net at 18:26 while Wellington was shorthanded to make the final 5-2 in favour of the Dukes.

Wellington was originally slated to host the Toronto Patriots this week as part of the CHCH nationally televised broadcast but that game as been moved to Wed. Feb 12 at 8 p.m.

Wellington has a trio of home games this weekend, playing host to Aurora on Thursday, Cobourg on Friday and Lindsay on Sunday afternoon.

The Dukes are in Whitby on Tuesday evening.