MERRITT, B.C. – The Penticton Vees used a four-goal 2nd period performance to earn their third straight win to begin the season, posting a 7-3 victory over the Merritt Centennials on Friday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.
For the third straight game, it was the Vees who jumped on the scoreboard under five minutes into the contest as at the 4:54 mark, Alex DiPaolo netted his first goal of the season. Jay O’Brien circled inside the blue line and sent a pass to the right face-off circle as Evan McIntyre spotted DiPaolo in front of the net with a pass as he beat Centennials goaltender Ryan Winter on the blocker side to give the Vees a 1-0 advantage.
Merritt was able to get the game tied on a power play marker at the 6:28 mark of the 1st period as Rylan Van Unen found space through Vees netminder Yaniv Perets from the slot as the Centennials evened the score.
The tie didn’t last long as 2:07 later, Tristan Amonte gave the Vees a 2-1 advantage. David Silye outmuscled his man on the left-wing side and stopped inside the blue line, passing for a skating Amonte who got behind the defense and in on goal. Amonte deked from his backhand back to his forehand and past the glove of Winter for his 3rd goal of the season and a 2-1 Vees advantage at the 8:32 mark.
Cade Webber collected his first career BCHL goal with 10 seconds remaining in the 1st period to give the Vees a 3-1 lead into the 2nd frame. Jackson Niedermayer turned inside the blue line in the high slot and sent a puck to the net that was deflected past the glove side of Winter by Webber for his first goal of the season and a two-goal advantage.
The Vees offensive game continued to roll into the 2nd period, scoring four times and starting early with a Danny Weight power play marker. Weight collected a Lukas Sillinger rebound and beat Winter on the blocker side for his 2nd goal of the season and gave Penticton a 4-1 advantage at the 1:57 mark of the middle stanza.
Vincent Nardone pushed the Vees lead to four goals at the 7:31 mark of the 2nd period on a shot from the left face-off circle. Nardone got a bit of help as a linesman ran interference on a Merritt defender, allowing Nardone to get an open lane down the left side and beat Winter through the blocker for his 1st BCHL goal and a 5-1 Vees lead.
The lead was pushed further in the 2nd frame as Weight tallied his second goal of the game and took a 6-1 lead. Weight got the puck on the left-wing side and wrapped it around on the glove side past a sprawling Winter for his 3rd goal of the season and a five-goal advantage on the power play goal.
Scoring for the Vees was capped off late in the 2nd period with Lach Hadley looking like he deflected a Colton Kalezic shot. Another power play marker saw Kalezic let a shot go from the left point that deflected off of Hadley in front of the net that gave the Vees a 7-1 lead at the 16:07 mark.
Merritt changed their goaltender in the 3rd period as Dylan Kosik came on to replace Winter as the Centennials scored twice in the final 20 minutes. Brett Roloson made it a 7-2 game at the 8:14 mark before Troy Quinn beat Perets with traffic in front with 50 seconds left to make the final 7-3.
Yaniv Perets turned aside 26 of the 29 shots he faced in the game for his 2nd victory of the season while Ryan Winter started the game, making 27 saves on 34 shots in his 2nd loss of the season before Dylan Kosik stopped all 5 shots thrown his way in the 3rd period.
FINAL SCORE: 7-3 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 39-29 Vees
VEES PP: 3/7
VEES PK: 6/7
1) Jay O’Brien (0-2-2)
2) Ethan Martini (0-0-0)
3) Evan McIntyre (0-3-3)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game:
The Vees (3-0-0-0) continue on their stretch of games away from home as they wrap up their weekend with a trip to Northern British Columbia to take on the Prince George Spruce Kings (1-1-0-1) on Saturday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the game available to listen to on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as watch on HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.
Season tickets are on sale now and the regular season just two weeks away with Penticton travelling to Trail to take on the Smoke Eaters on Friday, September 6th. The Vees home opener is slated for Friday, September 27th against the West Kelowna Warriors. Contact Director of Ticketing & Merchandise Laura Carleton for more information on season tickets and watching the Vees live this season.