DRYDEN, Ont. – The Wellington Dukes (OJHL) round the strength of three first period goals to send them on their way to a well-deserved 4-1 victory over the Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) Wednesday afternoon in Day 2 action at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship at Dryden Memorial Arena.
Picking up the afternoon’s initial power play, Wellington would capitalize by opening the scoring when Bryce Yetman fed Zach Uens, who used a Thunder Bay defender as a screen and snapped a shot from the right point that flew past Brandon Bodnar in the North Stars’ net.
The Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Dukes took advantage of an another Thunder Bay miscue moments later by grabbing a turnover just outside the blueline and came in on a two-on-one with Daniel Panetta putting a cross-ice pass on the tape of Yetman, who cleanly beat Bodnar glove side to make it 2-0.
Skating four-on-four in the latter stages of the frame, Wellington added another with Mitchell Martan being left alone in front as he too went high glove side to put his team up by three after 20 minutes.
The Dukes added another in the middle session as Frank Pucci blew through a pair of Thunder Bay defenders and worked his way in alone on Bodnar where he made a couple quick dekes and stuffed in his chance to make it 4-0 at 15:21.
Looking to shake up their fortunes, the North Stars’ coaching staff opted to replace Bodnar in favour of Dougie Newhouse to begin the final session.
Wellington goaltender Jonah Capriotti was solid when called upon only allowing one against on the 18 shots he faced, which came in the late going as Bradley Thrower threw the puck in front where a falling Brendan Gillis knocked it in from close range at 18:19 to round out the scoring.
Bodnar suffered the loss allowing four against on 21 attempts while Newhouse was solid in third-period relief, stopping all nine attempts he saw.
Defenceman Mason Snell chipped in with two assists for the Dukes.
With the result, both clubs are now 1-1 in the four-team event.
Picking up player of the game laurels were Uens for Wellington and Thrower for Thunder Bay.
Day 2 at the DHC continues at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET as the host Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (1-0) take on the Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL) (0-1).
Photo credit: Tim Bates DHC/OJHL Images