Wellington Dukes Win 2018 Dudley-Hewitt Cup

2017-2018 Dudley Hewitt Cup winners the Wellington Dukes
2017-2018 Dudley Hewitt Cup winners the Wellington Dukes

2017-2018 Dudley Hewitt Cup winners the Wellington Dukes
2017-2018 Dudley Hewitt Cup winners the Wellington Dukes

DRYDEN, Ont. – A Mitchell Mendonca power-play goal with 7:15 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Wellington Dukes (OJHL) went on to defeat the Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) 7-4 Saturday night in the title game of the 2018 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship in front of a capacity crowd at Dryden Memorial Arena.

With the win, Wellington will now advance to represent the Central Region at the RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship, May 12-20, in Chilliwack, B.C.

It was a fast-paced start to the contest with the SIJHL champion GM Ice Dogs getting on the board first as Kris Hamlin ripped one from the right side that beat Dukes’ starter Jonah Capriotti 89 seconds into the game during an early man-advantage chance.

However, the OJHL title holders came right back with the equalizer just 28 seconds later with Frank Pucci stuffing in the equalizer finishing off the work of Declan Carlile and Ben Evans.

Dryden regained the lead at 5:22 of the first following a face-off win with Connor Mowatt redirecting a Joseph Santalucia right point attempt that eluded Capriotti.

The action-packed, back and forth session saw the Dukes draw level once more as skilled defenceman Zach Uens cut around a Dryden forechecker and in before snapping one high from the left side at 13:41.

Wellington took their first lead of the night 14:27 into the middle session after Carlile let a point shot that Pavlisin could not control and allowed Ben Evans to knock it into the open side.

The GM Ice Dogs countered quickly to tie it once more as Eric Stout sent Ted Davis in over the blueline where he used a Dukes’ defender as a screen and put one past Capriotti.

However, down a man late in the second, the OJHLers forced a turnover near their own blueline and broke out on a two-on-one with Josh Supryka setting up Bryce Yetman for the go-ahead tally to give them a 4-3 lead after two periods of play.

It continued to be a see-saw battle with Dryden tying things up once more, early in the third, with Hamlin banking one just across the goal line while the Dukes netminder was tied up with a GM Ice Dogs forward at 1:35.

Still up a skater, after a two-man advantage had ended, Wellington would get the eventual difference maker as Teddy McGeen knocked one out of mid-air at the side of the net across to a waiting Mendonca who jammed in the decider at 12:45.

Ben Evans added some insurance with five minutes left as he scooped up a loose puck then skated left and fired a cross-ice shot that beat Pavlisin glove side before Jackson Arcan iced it with an empty-netter in the final minute to wrap things up.

Shots on goal in the contest were 35 apiece.

This marks Wellington’s third Dudley-Hewitt Cup title and first since 2011. The other came in 2003.

RESULTS:

Tuesday, May 1
Thunder Bay 4 Dryden 0
Dryden 4 Wellington 1
Wednesday, May 2
Wellington 4 Thunder Bay 1
Dryden 3 Cochrane 0
Thursday, May 3
Wellington 6 Cochrane 3
Thunder Bay 2 Dryden 1
Friday, May 4
Semifinal: Wellington 6 Thunder Bay 3
Saturday, May 5
Final: Wellington 7 Dryden 4

Dudley-Hewitt Cup champions
Year    Team (League)
2018    Wellington Dukes
2017    Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
2016    Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
2015    Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
2014    Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL)
2013    Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL)
2012    Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
2011    Wellington Dukes (OJHL)
2010    Oakville Blades (OJAHL)
2009    Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL)
2008    Oakville Blades (OPHJL)
2007    Aurora Tigers (OPJHL)
2006    Fort William North Stars (SIJHL)
2005    Georgetown Raiders (OPJHL)
2004    Aurora Tigers (OPJHL)
2003    Wellington Dukes (OPJHL)
2002    Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats (NOJHL)
2001    Thornhill Rattlers (OPJHL)
2000    Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats (NOJHL)
1999    Bramalea Blues (OPJHL)
1998    Milton Merchants (OPJHL)
1997    Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats (NOJHL)
1996    Newmarket 87’s (OPJHL)
1995    Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL)
1994    Chateauguay Elites (QPJHL)
1993    Chateauguay Elites (QPJHL)
1992    Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL)
1991    Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL)
1990    Longueuil Collège Français (QPJHL)
1989    Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL)
1988    Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL)
1987    Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL)
1986    Orillia Travelways (OJHL)
1985    Orillia Travelways (OJHL)
1984    Orillia Travelways (OJHL)
1983    North York Ranges (OJHL)
1982    Guelph Platers (OJHL)
1981    Belleville Bulls (OPJHL)
1980    North York Rangers (OPJHL)
1979    Guelph Platers (OPJHL)