The Wellington Jr. Dukes Development Program: The future has begun!

By Total Sports Media

The Wellington Dukes are pleased to announce the launch of their Hockey Development Division in support of minor hockey players of all ages, genders and from all parts of the hockey world.

“We had planned to start this initiative a couple of summers ago but unfortunately the pandemic derailed some of those plans,” said Randy Uens, COO of the Wellington Dukes Junior A hockey Club.

The Dukes will be expanding on their existing base of hockey schools and training sessions to include on ice combine testing, video analysis and consultation to players as well as Spring and summer team programs.

“We feel that our team of coaches that we have assembled has a lot to offer and housing it under one umbrella backed by one of the most storied Junior A franchises in Canada only makes sense,” Uens went on to say.

For details you can go to the Wellington Dukes Website and click on our Wellington Dukes Development tab. There you will find information on how to get athletic consultations and video analysis as well as dates of clinics, training sessions and hockey schools.

“We are blessed with living in such a beautiful part of the world with access to Sandbanks Provincial Park and all of the amenities of the Belleville and Prince Edward County area. It is the perfect destination for families to bring their children for summer development,” said Uens.

Development will be headed up by former NHL player Derek Smith, head coach and director of Hockey Operations of the Wellington Dukes.

“We plan to utilize our tremendous team and its resources to bring ‘First in Class’ development for players of all ages,” said Smith. “Coupled with this development and analytic platform, we will also be starting our first spring and summer team program under the Wellington Junior Dukes platform,” Smith went on to say.

The Wellington Jr. Dukes will be a spring and summer development program offering players the opportunities to play in high level spring and summer tournaments. The Jr. Dukes intend to have teams in all age groups for both boys and girls, pending registration. Registration for the spring and summer of 2022 will begin in October.

The Wellington Dukes will be looking for coaches for these teams immediately. If you are interested in coaching one of our summer teams please contact us through our website at Coaches will have tremendous support form the Wellington dukes staff and players to enhance the spring and summer team experience for the players of all ages and genders.

The first “test” team of the Jr. Dukes program began in August.

“Sean Gawley had heard about our plans to develop a summer team program and was interested in becoming part of it immediately. He was eager to get going so we agreed to do a test with his team to see if the kids enjoyed the affiliation with the Dukes organization,” said Smith.

And for an early test it has been very successful.

Junior Dukes Make Their Debut at the Senators AAA Spring Cup

Recently marked the debut tournament for the Junior Dukes AAA Spring hockey club. The team travelled to Ottawa with their sights set on victory.

The Dukes first match of the tournament was against the L & A County Kings. The Kings would get on the scoreboard first but that would be the only goal that they would manage to put past the Dukes goaltender. The Dukes scored to tie the game before the end of the first period and went on to score 4 more to end the game with a 5-1 win.

After a first game victory, the Dukes found a tougher opponent in a team from North Bay. The score remained 0-0 until the second period, when the Dukes scored first. North Bay battled hard and tied the game back up :36 seconds later. The third period would be a back and forth battle with the Dukes scoring early and North Bay responding but the Dukes came out on top and scored the winning goal to take the game 3-2.

The third game of round robin play proved to be a little more difficult for the Dukes. They just couldn’t get anything going and received their first loss, 6-1 against Olympiques Hull Volant.

To finish off the round robin, the Dukes had to play the first place team, the Bullseyes. This game was fast paced and action packed.

The Bullseyes scored first but the Dukes didn’t give up. They answered back with a goal in the second and scored again in the third. The Bullseyes would tie it up late in the third and the game remained a tie, giving the Dukes a third place finish going into the playoffs.

The semifinal game was a rematch with Olympiques Hull Volant. After a big loss to Hull the day before, the Dukes were ready to put that game behind them and fight for a spot in the finals. Hull would score first but the Dukes didn’t get rattled. They fought hard and tied the game 1-1 in the second. Hull scored in the third to take the lead but just when the game looked like it might be over, the Dukes put the puck in the net and tied the game again. With overtime just moments away, Hull scored the winning goal, seconds before the buzzer ended the game.

Falling just short of a spot in the finals, the Junior Dukes had a great showing at their first tournament and will use this momentum when they head to Kingston on August 20 to compete in the Ontario Prospects AAA Challenge in Kingston.

Photo by Total Sports Quinte. Pictured above:

Wellington Jr Dukes / Front Row /L-R: Blake Munnings, Gabe Davis, Seth Scaletta, Cole Coughlin, Pierson Clute, Jonas McCoy 

Middle Row /R-L: Lily Reid, Jake Gawley, Nate Rashotte, Charlie Vos, Keegan Goulah, McLean Chisholm, Ryan Sherwin  Chase Cybalski, Ryan Foley, Anthony Farence

Back Row /L-R: Matt McCoy, Randy Uens, Sean Gawley, Derek Smith, Jordan Chisholm, JP Goulah & Dan Foley