The Wellington Dukes continue to demonstrate what all hockey coaches crave this time of the season.
In a word- consistency.
Wellington was able to put a pair of teams to bed this weekend with relative ease and that’s not to insult the Caledon or North York Ontario Junior Hockey League outfits but the scheduled contests between the Dukes and the opposing Admirals and Rangers respectively, should have netted the Dukes a full compliment of points.
And by virtue of outscoring their opposition collectively 19-1 over 120 minutes, Wellington (17-5-3) did just that.
The Dukes whitewashed the Admirals in Caledon on Thursday night 11-0 and had more than enough in the tank the following night at Lehigh Arena as the locals dumped the Blueshirts 8-1.
With the pair of wins, the Dukes continue to ride an undefeated in regulation streak of a dozen games and are 7-0-1 in the month of November with a game remaining in North York on Wednesday afternoon before crossing off the month and setting focus on December.
“At the start of the year we struggled with shift to shift consistency. It is something our guys have taken pride in lately, and it has began to show in the win/loss column,” Dukes Bench Boss Derek Smith told the Gazette. “We are happy with the results the past 12-13 games, but know that we have to continue to push and work to get better every day.”
The old saying success has many fathers is certainly true if you apply it Wellington’s offensive depth, particularly in the previous five weeks.
Through 25 games, Wellington has eight skaters with 19 or more points. With prolific and deep production like this, it’s not hard to see how the Dukes have persevered when the top line has been kept in check-if there is such a thing as a top line right now for Wellington on a shift by shift basis.
On Thursday, the list of Dukes skaters without a point against the Admirals (two) was far shorter than the number of Dukes with multi point games (eight) as the locals took a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes and skated down hill for the remaining 20, blistering the hosts for a seven spot in the third.
Mason Matheson, Luke Lapalm and Edward Moskowitz all had two goal games while Connor Hunt, Barrett Joint, Jacob Vreugdenhil and Jax Boyer all lit the lamp for single tallies.
Julien Jacob had three helpers from the back end while Ethan Morrow collected his third donut of the campaign.
On Friday against the Rangers, the Dukes followed the same script, leading their opponents by four when the second intermission arrived.
Wellington would cruise in the third with four goals however an Isa Parekh goal at the 4:57 mark of the third denied Dukes starter Jacob Osborne of a shutout.
On Friday, Joynt led all scorers with a hat trick effort while
Matheson, Ryan Smith, Will Mitchell, Moskowitz and Jared Langdon all tallied singles.
Wellington’s Corbin Roach had three helpers.
While Wellington was winning this weekend, the club was paying close attention to what is happening around them, particularly in the Southeast Conference.
As of Monday afternoon prior to Cobourg’s home contest against Haliburton County, the Dukes were one point up on the Cougars, three points back of Trenton and four points behind the Huskies.
With 32 games played already, it seems the entire division has games in hand on the Golden Hawks-Wellington with seven, Cobourg eight and Haliburton six.
Currently, it looks like the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and their 50 points through 29 contests will be unreachable by the field but there’s plenty of jockeying as the teams approach the OJHL’s holiday break.
“(Scoreboard watching) is something we all do in this game. I wouldn’t say it so much standings watching to see where we are, but more of watching other games to see tendencies, where they are strong/weak and other watching players,” Smith said. “The only thing we can control at this point is our approach end execution to each game.”
After Wednesday’s afternoon affair at Paramount Ice in Thornhill (The Herb Carnegie Centennial Centre is undergoing renovations), Wellington hosts Stoufville on Friday, plays in Brantford on Sunday afternoon and then faces off for a big four point game in Cobourg on Monday night.