In a must-win game for both teams, Wellington didn’t get the game they wanted, surrendering five goals on the first 10 shots faced.
In a surprise decision Wellington coach started goaltender Cody Spicer over number one starter Dayne Davis.
The gamble didn’t pay off as Spicer was pulled just 12:51 into the game after he allowed 2 early goals.
After the game Duke coach Marty Abrams didn’t second guess his decision.
“Dayne has played a lot of games, probably 30 straight in the playoffs. We’ve played over 30 playoff games now and he’s played every single one. We just thought this was an opportunity to get Cody in, and Cody played fine, we just thought we needed a change of scenery when he let in the first two…and that was the decision to put Dayne in.”
The Dukes’ game plan doesn’t change from here, he said.
“We have to regroup and regroup fast, we haven’t been beaten that bad in my four years here in Wellington. We have to regroup, I thought we played well in the third period, but constant penalties don’t help.”
Goaltending was the deciding factor, said Kodiak captain Jordan Chomack.
“If our goalie is hot and we’re putting the puck in the net, that’s a huge thing. Defense creates offense and having a good goalie like Brodeur helps a lot, it helps everything.
“Their goalie’s not playing as well helps us out a lot. The bounces go whichever way and you can’t score if you don’t shoot the puck. We felt we had to win today and we did that,” he said.
The Dukes led in virtually every statistical category in the first period, except the ones that counts, giving up three goals on six shots to the Kodiaks.
Camrose continued the physical play they displayed in their opening game, laying hit after hit on Wellington. Despite the Dukes’ fans plea for more offensive, they could manage only one goal.
Spicer was pulled after the second goal and played just 12:51 before being replaced by Davis, who played the opening game.
Wellington forward Ryan Woodward opened the scoring but it was all Duke could muster with Camrose scoring three unanswered.
MacGregor Sharp scored a shorthanded goal for the Kodiaks’ first goal, shooting 5-hole on Spicer after a Dukes giveaway in their zone.
The second goal was a partial breakaway. Mark Szott deked to his forehand before depositing the puck under a sprawling Spicer.
Davis replaced Spicer in the Wellington net after the second goal, but he would fair not better, allowing Camrose’s Matt McKnight to score his team’s third goal on its sixth shot.
Shots were 14-6 for Wellington, with McKnight recording three of the six for Camrose.
Camrose opened the second period scoring on their first shot of the period and seventh of the game. The Kodiaks followed the feat by scoring their fifth goal of the game on their tenth shot, making the lead four.
Captain Jordan Chormack of the Kodiacks scored just 12 seconds into the frame despite the persistent chants from Wellington fans of go Dukes go.
Just 1:38 later MacGregor Sharp found himself one-on-one with the Duke goaltender only to be denied. But Kodiak teammate Ryan Muspratt followed up the rebound with a goal.
The final goal of the period came on a two-man advantage for the Kodiaks. Defenseman Jeff Fleck scored at 8:54 making the score 6-1 Kodiaks.
Both teams came out hard in an anti-climactic third period which saw one goal teamed with a number of penalties.
Travis Friedley scored on a slapper from the point at 16:54 to put an end to all hopes of a Wellington comeback.
The final score was 7-1 for the Kodiaks who improve to 1-1 in the championship, while Wellington falls to 0-2.
Final shots for the contest were 37-29 in favor of Wellington.
Wellington (0-2) is in action tomorrow at 7 p.m. against host Charlottetown (1-1).
Camrose (1-1) plays their next game against undefeated Lennoxville (2-0) Wednesday at 2 p.m.
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