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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Eye Back-To-Back Wins Against Centennials On Anti-Bullying Night

PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees (22-8-1-0) look to make it back-to-back wins in the conclusion of their home-and-home set against the Merritt Centennials (8-17-1-0) on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Anti-Bullying Night.

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REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE VS. MERRITT

Friday, September 13th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7-3 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Sunday, October 27th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (4-1 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, November 29th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (4-1 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, November 30th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)

Friday, January 17th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)

Friday, January 24th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)

The Vees enter Saturday night’s tilt with the Centennials looking for their fourth win of the season series after earning a 4-1 victory on Friday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Conner Hutchison, Tyler Ho, Colton Kalezic and Danny Weight each tallied in the game for the Vees while Yaniv Perets pushed aside 25 of the 26 shots he faced in his 13th win of the season between the pipes.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Jay O’Brien (15-29-44)

Danny Weight (15-19-34)

Lukas Sillinger (11-20-31)

David Silye (10-20-30)

Colton Kalezic (9-13-22)

One player who has enjoyed seeing the Centennials this season has been forward Danny Weight, who has scored in each of his last two games overall and each of the three contests against Merritt. The Boston College commit tied Jay O’Brien for the team lead in goals with his 15th tally of the season on Friday night and holds 4 goals and an assist for 5 points in the season series against the Centennials.

Having a strong impact on the offensive attack of the Vees is forward Tyler Ho, who has registered a goal in four of his last six games and has a knack for scoring in timely moments. The Surrey, BC native sits with three of his six tallies being credited for game winning markers while registering a point in five of his last six contests.

Special teams has played a large part in all three of the Vees victories this season against the Centennials with each of the power play and penalty kill coming through in big spots. Penticton has amassed a total of 8 power play goals in the first three games of the season against Merritt, including scoring multiple power play goals in each of those three contests. The penalty kill has also made a big impact against the Cents, going 14-for-15 in the three games and was 5-for-5 on Friday night.

The Merritt Centennials come into Saturday night’s game looking to get back in the win column after the 4-1 loss to Penticton on Friday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Ben Ward scored the lone goal for the Centennials while Ryan Winter turned aside 48 of the 52 shots thrown his way in his 9th loss of the season.

Centennials Scoring Leaders:

Josh Kagan (17-10-27)

Daniel Tkac (6-14-20)

Payton Matsui (7-10-17)

Thomas Manty (6-7-13)

Talon Zakall (3-9-12)

The play of goaltender Ryan Winter was a big part of Friday night’s action as the 20-year-old netminder faced 50 or more shots for the third time this season and in each of his last two starts. The Owen Sound, Ontario native made his first appearance in the crease since November 8th and was outstanding, with 48 saves on 52 shots in the defeat but sits 12th in the BCHL with his .911 save percentage.

Discipline play will be preached for the Centennials through the course of tonight’s game with Merritt’s penalty kill ranking 17th in the BCHL at 69.8%. Merritt has surrendered a goal against on the penalty kill in each of their last four games, giving up a total of 12 power play goals in those four outings. The Centennials do have a pair of shorthanded goals this season while playing the second least amount of games with just 26 games played over the course of the year.

The Vees and Centennials play the fourth of their six-game season series tonight on Pink the Rink Night, in support of Anti-Bullying, at the South Okanagan Events Centre with puck drop slated for 6:00 PM. A limited amount of tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com.