(Emmet Pierce in action for the Wellington Dukes. Photo by Ed McPherson/OJHL Images)
Captain Emmet Pierce scored his first of two goals just over a minute into regulation time and the Wellington Dukes never relinquished the lead in a 5-3 win over the visiting Cobourg Cougars in Ontario Junior Hockey League action on Friday night at Lehigh Arena.
Wellington took a 2-0 advantage out of the first period on goals by Pierce at 1:09 and Brodie McDougall, his first since returning to the club, at 18:07.
In the second period, the Cougars twice cut the deficit to one starting with Michael Palandra’s goal just 45 seconds into the middle frame.
Pierce restored the two-goal lead with a power-play mark at 3:20 and Jayden Baldinelli responded for Cobourg four minutes later.
A goal by Jacob Vreugdenhil with under two minutes remaining in the second enabled the Dukes to start to pull away. They almost got one more before time expired in the period, but Jaxen Boyer was stopped on a penalty shot by Cougars goaltender Carter Tahk.
David Campbell, with his first goal as a Duke, rounded out the scoring for his new club 3:23 into the third. Pierce assisted on the play as he had a three-point night as did Vreugdenhil with his team-leading 12th helper and 15th point.
Liam Filip got one back for the Cougars at 14:52.
Wellington goaltender Ethan Morrow made 23 saves to record his fourth win in six games this season. Like Pierce, Campbell and Vreugdenhil also recorded three-point outings while Aaron Brown drew a pair of assists for his first two OJHL points.
It was the third straight win for the Dukes (6-5-0-1), which will host Game 2 of the Hasty P’s Cup on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. against the Trenton Golden Hawks (9-1-0-2).
The Golden Hawks have lost three straight after opening the season with nine straight wins, though the past two defeats have come in overtime.
On Friday night, the Golden Hawks were edged 2-1 by the Muskies (8-3-0-2) in Lindsay.
Trenton’s Justin Mauro opened the scoring with 28 seconds left in the first period and that lead stood up until Lindsay’s Boyd Stahlbaum tallied his first of two goals 12:09 into the third.
Stahlbaum then scored the game-winner at the 4:08 mark of overtime.
Goaltender William Nguyen made 39 saves in a losing cause for the Golden Hawks.
The Trenton Golden Hawks announced on Friday that co-captain Dalton Bancroft, of Madoc, has committed to Cornell University, an Ivy League school in Ithica, New York for the 2022-23 season.