Sunday night the Lindsay Muskies made the trip to Wellington for the second time this season to tangle with the Dukes. When the teams met earlier in the season it was the Dukes putting an end to an early Lindsay three game winning streak. Coming into Sunday's action the Muskies had lost four in a row, while the Dukes had won their last four. Both streaks were still intact when the final buzzer sounded on a 5-2 Wellington win.
The Dukes grabbed the first goal very early on, when the teams leading point getter Darcy Murphy lit the lamp behind Muskies starter Luke Bierworth only :65 seconds in. The assist went to Wellington hometown player Cam Yuill. The Dukes kept coming and by the five minute point of the period had already rung up 6 shots on goal while the Muskies were still looking for their first. The Fish were soon able to right that ship though and by the midway point of the period had evened up at least the shot clock at 7, but still had not been able to beat Dukes netminder, and newcomer Tyler Marble. The Dukes stretched their lead to two at 15:26 when Anthony Taylor scored from Braden Kavaratzis, and Craig Campbell. The Dukes at that point were once again dominating in the shot dept having fired 17 at Bierworth, when we got our first penalty of the game with Duke Jan Kaminsky going off for roughing at 17:56. The Fish were unable to take advantage though and the period ended with them down by two. The shots on goal for the period were 17-10 in favour of the home side.
In the second the Dukes picked up right where they left off with former Muskie's defenceman Elliott Richardson giving Wellington a 3-0 advantage from Josh Gervais at 3:34. At 5:55 Kaminsky took his second minor of the game putting the Muskies back on the powerplay. You had the feeling this was almost a must score point in the game if Lindsay stood a chance of getting back into this one. Once again though they were not able to improve on a powerplay that came into the game at a 15.18% success rate, good for only 21st place in the league. The Fish got another man advantage when Donovan Gardiner was given two minutes for checking from behind, and he was tossed from the game at that point as well. The Dukes got their first advantage late in the second when Vince Herlihey went off for elbowing. For as poor as the powerplay has been for Lindsay though, their penalty killing has been the opposite, coming into the game 2nd in the league at an 87.32% kill rate. They were able to kill this one as well, and they escaped the period with no further damage. The shots were much closer in the second with Wellington holding an 11-10 edge.
In third Wellington once again capitalized quickly. Murphy grabbed his second of the game at 3:30 from Yuill, and Mitch McNeill. After that the Fish began swimming to the penalty box with a little more regularity as frustrations began to come to the surface. Chris Lane went for cross checking at 3:48. Joel Wetmore was tossed, and penalized for making head contact, and Patrick Thornton went for tripping at 4:44. The Dukes powerplay made the Muskies pay when Taylor grabbed his second of the night from Richardson, and Murphy at 6:20 to make it 5-0. At 6:21 Josh Gervais and Trevor Smith were each given 5 and a game for fighting. :36 seconds later it was Cole Bolton and Vince Herlihey who were given fighting majors and game misconducts. The Muskies finally got the powerplay going when Matt Davis scored his 8th of the season from Mitch Bursey and Patrick Thornton with the extra man at 10:08. Just over two minutes later at 12:16 Dean Klomp scored his team leading 13th from Davis. The teams traded penalties for the rest of the period, but there was no more scoring.
On the night the Fish were 1 for 5 on the powerplay while Wellington were 1 for 7. The Dukes out shot the Muskies by a 40-29 margin.
With the loss the Dukes move to 10-5-2 and go 6 points up on the Muskies for 4th place in the East division, while the Muskies fall to 8 and 8, having lost five in a row.
The next game for the Muskies is Friday night at home to the Vaughan Vipers.