Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 14, 2024
21° Partly Cloudy
March 11, 2024

Wellington and Toronto even through two games

Dukes and Jr. Canadiens even through first two games of 2024 Buckland Cup playoffs
<p>Wellington Duke Connor Hunt had a tougher time of it in Game 2 of his team&#8217;s best-of-seven series against Ethan Lindsay and the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)</p>
Wellington Duke Connor Hunt had a tougher time of it in Game 2 of his team’s best-of-seven series against Ethan Lindsay and the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

A little home cooking has been delightful for both the Wellington Dukes and the Toronto Jr. Canadiens through the first two games of their best-of-seven Buckland Cup quarter finals series.

The Dukes opened up with a 5-2 win at Lehigh Arena on Friday night, pulling away from the JC’s in the third.

But two nights later at the Scotiabank Pond in Toronto, the hosts were able to tally the first three goals in a 4-1 win that evened the set at 1-1.

The series resumes in Wellington on Tuesday night for Game 3 and then back to Toronto for Game 4 on Thursday.

Wellington will eschew its usual Friday night slot at Lehigh for a Saturday afternoon tilt for Game 5. Puck drop is 4 p.m.

Game 1

Wellington would fall behind in Game 1 at the 7:06 mark as Nathan Phillips would fire the series opener to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Will Mitchell had a pair of goals in Game 1. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

The Dukes responded at 11:22 as Colin Smith set up Corey Jewitt who swept the puck under Toronto starter Josh Branton to square the affair at 1-1.

The locals had the only goal of the second and it came as a result of some deft offensive zone passing during a power play opportunity.

Mr. Jewitt demonstrated nice vision along with a scoring touch when he eyed Ryan Schapp lurking at the far faceoff dot. A crisp cross ice pass was one timed into the back of the Toronto net at 11:32.

In the third, Wellington pulled away. Will Mitchell beat Mr. Branton from range and, just four minutes later, helped set up Nick Dipaolo for a power play goal to make it 4-1 Dukes.

Luc Malkhassian would fire the puck past a screened Jack Lisson in the Wellington net for a Toronto power play marker at 10:12 but Mr. Mitchell’s second into a vacated Toronto net with just over two minutes left sealed the deal for the Dukes at 5-2.

Game 2

On Sunday, Toronto head coach David Demarinis flipped the script and started Sergei Litvinov in the Junior Canadiens net and the St. Petersburg, RU product was stellar, making 29 saves in a winning effort.

After being outshot and outplayed for most of it, Wellington nearly escaped the first unscathed. That was until Jordan Karafile would count against Mr. Lisson with just 1:26 left in the stanza.

In the second, the hosts would extend that lead as Connor Van Weelie scored at 5:32 and then set up Mr. Phillips at 14:01.

Wellington finally found a hole in the defences of Mr. Litvinov at 15:54 when Connor Hunt lit the lamp on the power play to make it 3-1.

The Dukes outshot the Jr. Canadiens in the third pressing to get the contest closer but Mr. Van Wellie’s second of the night into a yawning Wellington cage finalized the scoring at 4-1.

Mr. Lisson made 27 stops in his second outing of the post season.

Puck drop at Lehigh Arena on Tuesday is 7:30 p.m.

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