Buzzers hang on to defeat Dukes 5-4

(Jacob Vreugdenhil scored his first goal of the season for the Wellington Dukes in a loss to the visiting St. Michael’s Buzzers on Sunday at Lehigh Arena. File photo by Tim Bates/OJHL Images)

Story by Jeff Gard

Brad Somers and Bryce Sutherland continued to lead the way offensively for the St. Michael’s Buzzers on Sunday afternoon as they handed the Wellington Dukes their first regulation defeat in the early going of this Ontario Junior Hockey League regular season.
The Buzzers, which trailed after the first period before taking a lead late in the second they would not relinquish, withstood a late charge from the Dukes to hold on for a 5-4 victory at Lehigh Arena in Wellington.

Cameron Kosurko opened the scoring for the Dukes at 8:28 of the first period when he capitalized on a turnover and beat Buzzers’ goaltender Cole Moore to take the one-goal advantage out of the opening frame.

Somers, the St. Michael’s captain, answered back five minutes into the second to even the score 1-1 and then assisted on Sutherland’s go-ahead tally with just over a minute remaining in the middle frame. The Buzzers didn’t trail again in the contest.

Early in the third, the Buzzers went up 3-1 on a power play goal at 4:51 by Giacomo Martino, which was his fourth goal in four games played this season. He recorded a hat trick Oct. 3 against the Mississauga Chargers.

Wellington’s attempts to battle back during the final 15 minutes of regulation time were thwarted by the Buzzers. Ethan Quick scored his third goal of the season for the Dukes at 7:09 to cut the deficit to one, but the Buzzers responded with goals by Riley Sutherland a minute later and Andrew Chang at 14:32 to take a 5-2 lead.

The Dukes mounted a late comeback as Jacob Vreugdenhil scored his first of the season with 3:52 remaining and Liam Whittaker tallied his first OJHL marker with Wellington goaltender Matt Dunsmoor on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, but only four seconds remaining on the clock.

Somers added three assists to his goal for a four-point night and leads the Buzzers with 12 points while Bryce Sutherland’s goal was a team-leading fifth.

Moore made 19 saves to earn his first victory of the season for the Buzzers (2-2-0-0) while Dunsmoor turned aside 23 of the 28 shots he faced in a losing cause for Wellington.

The Dukes (2-1-0-1) head to Lindsay on Tuesday afternoon for a 2 p.m. match-up against the Muskies (2-3-0-0) and are on the road against Wednesday at 8 p.m. to face the North York Rangers (4-1-0-0).