By Jason LaRose, Hockey Canada
CHILLIWACK, B.C. – Ted McGeen added his name to the growing list of overtime heroes, scoring 59 seconds into the extra period to give the Wellington Dukes (OJHL) a 3-2 win over the Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) on Monday night.
McGeen took a drop pass from Andrew Rinaldi at the offensive blue-line and picked the top corner on the short side past Steinbach goaltender Matthew Radomsky to give the Dukes their first win and leave them tied for second place with Chilliwack and Ottawa at three points apiece.
It was the fourth time in five games overtime was needed, already a tournament record for one preliminary round. It also ties the overall tournament mark, including playoff games, set in 2014 and equalled last year.
Goaltenders Matthew Thiessen and Jonah Capriotti owned the first period, making eight and 10 saves, respectively, to get the game to the first intermission scoreless.
Steinbach took control early in a penalty-filled second period; after Riese Gaber was denied by Capriotti on a wraparound, he found his own rebound and spun at the side of the net before snapping a quick shot through bodies in front for a 1-0 lead.
Darby Gula made it a two-goal game on the power play at 9:15, taking a cross-ice feed from Drew Worrad and beating Capriotti.
But the Dukes answered quickly off the stick of Bryce Yetman, who was sprung for a shorthanded breakaway and knocked his own rebound through Thiessen to get the Central Region champs back within a goal.
Steinbach lost Thiessen to an apparent lower-body injury in the final minute of the second period, forcing Radomsky into action for the first time since the third period of the Pistons’ Game 4 loss to Nipawin in the ANAVET Cup on May 2.
Wellington got even midway through the third period when Mitch Mendonca gathered in a bounce off the end glass and went high on Radomsky to eventually force overtime.
The Dukes are back on the ice at the Prospera Centre on Tuesday night, taking on the host Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (7 p.m. PT), while the Pistons return to action Wednesday night against the Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL) (7 p.m. PT).
Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images