Game Preview: GM #51 Vees vs. Merritt Centennials


Game Time: 7:00 pm PDT

Location: SOEC, Penticton

Radio: Bounce 800 AM

Webcast: Flo Hockey

Season Series

Sep. 23 Penticton 6 at Merritt 0

Oct. 21 Merritt 4 at Penticton 6

Nov. 4 Penticton 5 at Merritt 2

Dec. 2 Penticton 3 at Merritt 2

Dec. 6 Merritt 1 at Penticton 2

Feb. 4 Penticton 4 at Merritt 0

Mar. 9 Merritt 2 at Penticton 5

Mar. 22 Merritt at Penticton, 7:00 pm PDT

Penticton Vees

GM & Head Coach: Fred Harbinson

Record : GP 50 37-8-3-2, 79 PTS (1st, Interior)

Last Game: 2-1 loss vs. Alberni Valley (Mar. 16)

Home: 20-3-0-0

Away: 17-5-3-2

GF: 193

GA: 103

Power Play: (51/170) 30.0% 1st

Penalty Kill: (30/142) 78.9% 8th

Scoring Leader: Callum Arnott (25-24-49)

The Vees have four games left in the regular season, all at home, as they kick-off the weekend against the Merritt Centennials.

Penticton had their seven-game win streak come to an end last Saturday, losing 2-1 at home to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. That was the Vees’ first regulation loss since January 26th; a 14-game point streak that spanned seven weeks.

Billy Renfrew enters this weekend riding a seven-game point streak, where he has compiled 13 points (5G, 8A). Renfrew’s 28 points since January 1st is the third-most in the BCHL. Only Surrey’s duo of Aaron Schwartz and Caden Cranston have had more points in the last two and half months.

Saturday’s loss to the Bulldogs was just the third loss at home this season for the Vees. Penticton is 19-3-0-0 at the SOEC.

The Vees are 7-0 against Merritt this season. Three of those wins have come at home. Ryan MacPherson leads the Vees with 10 points (5G, 5A) in seven games against the Centennials.

Tonight is the 100th career regular season game for forward Callum Arnott.

Tonight is the Vees’ annual Feed the Valley night in partnership with Valley First. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

Merritt Centennials

Head Coach: Brian Passmore

2023-24 : GP 50 20-24-5-1, 46 PTS (6th, Interior)

Last Game: 4-3 OTL loss at Prince George (Mar. 22)

Home: 12-10-3-0

Away: 8-14-2-1

GF: 159

GA: 189

Power Play: (34/167) 20.4% 10th

Penalty Kill: (36/181) 80.1% 6th

Scoring Leader: Michael Felsing (16-40-56)

Merritt split their weekend in Prince George last week but took three out of four points against the Spruce Kings.

Friday, Merritt won 6-3 at Kopar Memorial Arena and then grabbed an overtime point in their 4-3 loss Saturday.

The Centennials have won six of their last 10 games, posting a 6-2-2-0 record over that stretch. Merritt is playing their fourth of five-straight road games, which started back on March 9th, in Penticton.

The Cents’ sit sixth in the Interior, three points up on the Cranbrook Bucks. If the playoffs were to start this weekend, Merritt would ace Salmon Arm.

Merritt is visiting the SOEC for the first time since December 6th and they are looking to snap a 27-game losing streak to Penticton. The Centennials last beat the Vees on February 15, 2019.