(Payton Schaly in Ontario Junior Hockey League action for the Wellington Dukes. Photo by Tim Bates/OJHL Images)
Story by Jeff Gard
Payton Schaly continued to deliver on the scoresheet for the Wellington Dukes on Tuesday afternoon, even though offence was hard to come by against the Lindsay Muskies.
Schaly’s goal 2:29 into double-overtime lifted the Dukes to a 2-1 win over the Muskies in the Ontario Junior Hockey League game at the Lindsay Recreation Centre.
“Both goalies stood on their heads all game long,” Schaly said, referring to Matt Dunsmoor who made 29 saves in the win for the Dukes and Ethan Fraser of Belleville and former Quinte Red Devils netminder who stopped 25 of the shots he faced for the Muskies. “Chances were hard to come by with the small ice and good neutral zone pressure. As the ice opened up in 3-on-3 overtime, I got lost in the slot and my roommate Jacob Dietz gave me a perfect pass for a one-time goal.”
Harrison Ballard opened the scoring for the Dukes on Tuesday at the 18:21 mark of the first period, but Mael Plante responded for the Muskies just 20 seconds later to extend his point-streak to four games.
That was all the offence the teams could muster before over 48 minutes of scoreless play through the rest of regulation time and into the overtime periods.
There were only two penalties called in the contest, including a delay of game against Wellington’s Emmet Pierce before the opening faceoff in the contest.
Lindsay’s Jack Falkner was called for slashing early in the third, but the penalty-killing prowess continued for his club. The Muskies have allowed just one power-play goal against while shorthanded 22 times for a league-leading success rate of 95.45 per cent.
Schaly now has a team-leading four goals and eight points. The 20-year-old has scored in three of the four games he has played and recorded points in all.
“My good start is a result from great team play and my linemates making plays down low and finding me,” Schaly said.
Schaly, who is from Barrie, brings plenty of junior experience to the Dukes roster this season, including time spent with the Brockville Braves of the CCHL as well as the OJHL’s Aurora Tigers and Collingwood Colts, now known as the Blues.
In 38 games with Collingwood during the 2019-20 season, Schaly registered 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points following a trade from Aurora. He was acquired by the Dukes from Collingwood in September.
“Schals is a high-skilled guy, he’s a point producer and we’re going to look for him to be a leader not only on the scoresheet, but we’ve got to make sure that as a 20-year-old player he leads by example both on the ice and off the ice,” said Dukes head coach Derek Smith. “It’s going to be a good year with him if he leads that way.”
With the OJHL shut down last year, Schaly got some game action in during the 2020-21 campaign with the Potomac Patriots of the United States Premier Hockey League along with former Collingwood teammate and roommate Will Redick, who is off to a great this season as well with the Colts.
“Potomac was fun and Josh Gratton the coach was amazing,” Schaly, who tallied three goals and six assists in six regular season games, said. “It was good to get some game in while Canada was shut down.”
Schaly has moved around a lot throughout his junior career, but with aspirations to play NCAA Div. 1 hockey followed by a pro career, he relishes the opportunity to continue his development and find a home with the Dukes in his final season.
“Wellington’s the most professional place I’ve ever played,” Schaly said. “I love the work ethic and pride the boys take in being a Duke. Best organization in the OJ.”
The Dukes (3-1-0-1) are back on the road again Wednesday night against the North York Rangers (4-1-0-0). Game time is Herbert Carnegie Centennial Centre.
Wellington’s next home game is Friday night against the undefeated Trenton Golden Hawks (5-0-0-0). Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Lehigh Arena.