PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees used a 20-save shutout from Yaniv Perets and five different goal scorers to help them to a 5-0 victory over the Merritt Centennials on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Penticton opened the game with plenty of energy in front of a packed building on Pink The Rink Night and got the crowd into the game early on with Colton Kalezic jumping on a rebound to give the home side a 1-0 lead just 1:22 into the hockey game.
Steve Holtz guided a puck on goal from the right point that was deflected at the front of the net by Tristan Amonte with Centennials netminder Tanner Marshall making a right pad save with the rebound spilling to Kalezic on the left side as he lifted a shot into the goal for his 10th goal of the season and helping the Vees to a 1-0 lead.
The Vees continued to push as the period went along, outshooting the Centennials by a 15-6 margin and extended their lead to 2-0 with Lukas Sillinger potting his 11th goal of the season. Evan McIntyre took a shot from the right face-off circle that was stopped by the right pad of Marshall with Sillinger pouncing on the rebound and giving Penticton a 2-0 advantage at the 16:36 mark of the opening frame.
The offensive attack remained in the 2nd period for the Vees, which saw the captain push his team ahead by a 3-0 score. Jay O’Brien controlled a loose puck in the left face-off circle and pushed a pass to the slot as David Silye collected and ripped a shot past the glove side of Marshall for his 11th goal of the season and a three-goal advantage in favour of the home side.
There were many chances for the Vees to greater lengthen their lead but Marshall stood tall, making 16 saves on the 17 shots thrown his way in the middle stanza and got some help from the posts as well as the Vees were inches away from taking a four-goal lead.
Danny Weight started the play inside of the offensive end as he passed off to the right-wing with Liam Malmquist taking the puck down to the corner and centering a pass for Jackson Niedermayer, who was driving hard to the glove side post as the puck glanced off of his stick and off the right post to deny the Vees of a marker.
The Vees pushed their lead to 4-0 at the 7:41 mark of the final frame with a steal in the neutral zone that led to a rush into the offensive end. Liam Noble stole the puck at centre ice and worked his way down the left-wing side, getting by a defender on the wing before centering a pass for Jack Barnes in the middle as he poked it past the goaltender Marshall for his 2nd goal of the season and a four-goal Vees lead.
After being denied by a pair of posts, Niedermayer buried his 6th goal of the season to close out the scoring in the 3rd period at the 12:35 mark. Lukas Sillinger dragged the puck from the slot to the top of the right face-off circle before letting go of a shot that was stopped by Marshall with the rebound coming to Niedermayer on the glove side as he pushed the loose puck home to give the Vees a 5-0 lead.
Yaniv Perets took over from there, making some of his most impressive stops on the night late in the period in helping him to his 4th shutout of the season, turning aside all 20 shots he faced in his 14th win of the year. Tanner Marshall made 40 saves on 45 shots in his 9th loss in the Merritt crease.
FINAL SCORE: 5-0 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 45-20 Vees
VEES PP: 1/5
VEES PK: 4/4
1) Lukas Sillinger (1-1-2)
2) Jay O’Brien (0-2-2)
3) Yaniv Perets (20-save shutout)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Liam Noble (0-1-1)
The Vees (23-8-1-0) head back on the road and make their final trip south of the border in the regular season to face-off against the Wenatchee Wild (15-12-3-1) on Wednesday night. Puck drop is slated for 6:00 PM from the Town Toyota Center with the game broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 5:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.
The Vees annual Teddy Bear Toss will take place on Friday, December 6th against the West Kelowna Warriors at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently-used stuff animal, a pair of socks, pajamas or diapers to throw onto the ice after Penticton’s first goal of the game. Tickets can be purchased at the Valley First Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com.