By Leah Vandenberg
The night ended with the Wellington Dukes beating the St. Michael’s Buzzers 5-3.
But, the road to victory at the Essroc Arena wasn’t an easy one.
The Dukes stand at fourth place in their division, while the Buzzers are number one in the league overall. The game started in favour of the Dukes when they took an early lead just over a minute into the game.
To keep the momentum going, they scored their second goal 39 seconds later. St. Michael’s responded with one goal during the first. The Dukes toppled over the Buzzers with 21 shots on net to the Buzzers 8.
Dukes coach Marty Abrams said it was key to score two goals early on in the game.
“It was huge, it gave us some confidence, and I thought maybe put them (St. Michael’s) on their heels a little bit,”
Darcy Murphy of the Dukes scored the lone goal of the second period, also his 23rd of the season. Despite the goal against them, the Buzzers kept Dukes goalie Tyler Marble busy with their three power plays, and 43 saves during the game.
Marble said it was a good team effort.
“I was just trying to make some saves for the team, the boys were working hard in front of me blocking shots, we were pretty happy to get out of that period with no goals,”
Wellington took some big penalties in the second period, which Cam Yuill said was what got them into trouble.
“We battled through it. We took the momentum back after killing some big penalties,”
Despite being short handed a few times, the Dukes managed to net a third goal before the second period ended, giving them a two-goal lead.
“We’re playing a good team and they’re nationally ranked, and we knew they weren’t going to quit,” said Abrams.
The third period saw action and a push by the Dukes to hold their lead. The Dukes scored two power play goals in the third and the Buzzers answered that with two goals of their own.
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the second, but we regained our composure in the third,” said Yuill. At the end of the night, he was responsible for assisting with two of the five Dukes goals.
Both teams ended Friday’s game with 46 shots on net. The Dukes win put them 12 points behind the number one Buzzers.
“Any win is big, I think we’re happy about it but we have to come back and keep on working,” said Marble.