Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

You’ve heard of any given Sunday? Welcome to any given Saturday at Prospera Centre as the Wellington Dukes pulled off one of the biggest upsets you’ll ever see.

Huge underdogs in a semi-final matchup against the BCHL champion Wenatchee Wild, the Dukes scratched out a 2-1 win.

Wellington goaltender Jonah Capriotti stood on his head as his team was outshot 51-14, making save after save after save until Wenatchee ran out of time,

Bryce Yetman and Daniel Panetta scored for the Dukes, who move on to tomorrow afternoon’s RBC Cup final, while the team everyone expected to win heads home empty handed.

The Wild outshot Wellington 19-2 through opening 20, with the puck barely leaving the Dukes zone, yet somehow the underdogs escaped the first period with a 1-0 lead.

Capriotti was pulled in the preliminary round after giving up four goals on 18 shots. Looking for revenge in the rematch, the Hamilton native was on point in period one, helping his team weather the storm. At the other end, Austin Park could have pulled up a chair and read a book between shots, but the one scoring chance that came his way was a dangerous one that ended up in the net.

With his team under siege, Dukes D-man Declan Carlile cleared a puck up the left wing. The puck caromed off the boards to Yetman, who was behind the Wenatchee defencemen. Outracing Slava Demin to the net, Yetman cut across the goamouth and snapped a glove-side shot past Park at 15:52.

When you’re facing a high-octane offence like Wenatchee you need to bury every chance you get, and that’s why Yetman might have been kicking himself had this game ended in a different way.

With his team killing a penalty midway through the second period, the forward poked the puck away from Wild blueliner Zak Galambos in the neutral zone and had a breakaway from the blueline in. The Whitby, Ontario native threw a dozen stick moves at Park, but the netminder didn’t bite, stretching out with the right leg pad to make the save on the goal line.

On the next shift Galambos made Yetman pay with a wrist shot from the left point that threaded its way through traffic and past screened Dukes keeper Capriotti for Wenatchee’s first goal at 9:30.

That’s the only puck that evaded either goalie in the middle frame.

Despite being outshot 35-9 through 40 minutes, Wellington somehow skated into the third period with a chance to pull off an epic upset.

Panetta made that idea a lot more real at the 6:56 mark of the final frame when he scored the game-winning goal, crashing the crease, getting his stick on a Frank Pucci pass from the left wing and directing it through the legs of Park.

A couple shifts later the Wild thought they had the equalizer when the puck appeared to sneak across the goal-line during a scramble around the Wellington net. Dukes D-man Andrew Barbeau pulled it off the line and out of trouble. Wenatchee players frantically pointed up to the big screen, pleading with the stripes to take a look. The refs consulted the goal judge and stuck with their no-goal call.

When replay officials at Prospera Centre put a zoomed in version on the big screen it was clear the refs got it right.

The puck didn’t make it all the way across the line.

Wenatchee still had time to net the equalizer, but Capriotti made sure it wasn’t happening, slamming the door in the final minutes.

Wild coach Bliss Littler pulled Park with 58.3 seconds remaining for the extra attacker, and called timeout to rest his big guns for the last push. But Wellington survived to the final whistle, celebrating the win while the despondent Wenatchee players tried to figure out what just happened.

Just Posted

Authorities call for calm as fires burn near Zeballos

Authorities are asking residents not to panic as several wildfires burn near… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Port Hardy Fire Rescue knocks down wildland fire

PHFR members responded to the scene, located the fire, and contained it to the immediate area.

Second annual Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce golf tournament

Golf Holes #2 and #6 are Hole-in-One opportunities, each with a cash prize of $25,000!

No taxes paid by Neucel, Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice closes

“Neucel owes us a million dollars and it’s pretty hard to stay status quo when you’re short a million.”

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read