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Offence from back end leads Vees to win over Merritt

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (6-4-0) scored three times in less than three minutes to end off the first period and then cruised to a 6-2 win over the Merritt Centennials (7-6-0) Wednesday night.

After the opening 10-12 minutes of the game which saw both teams have quality scoring chances, the Centennials got into penalty trouble. With Vincent Guy in the box, Ryan Sandelin took a penalty just nine seconds later.

Less than a minute into 4-on-4, Jaydon Fetter was given a four-minute spearing penalty and Michael Van Unen two minutes for slashing just 13 seconds later. The Vees offence came to life. 

Lukas Sillinger took a cross-crease feed from David Silye and beat Vincent Duplessis under the glove to open the scoring while 4-on-4 with just under three minutes to go in the period.

Less than two minutes later, Ryan Sandelin finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play for his sixth of the year on the power play. With just seconds remaining on the clock in the period, Conner Hutchison scored his first career goal with a wrist shot through traffic on a 5-on-3 power play to make it 3-0 Vees after one.

Neither team scored in the second period, but the Centennials cut the lead down early in the third. After Jack LaFontaine made the save on Bradley Cocca, the rebound went right to Rylan Van Unen who fired home his seventh of the year less than two minutes into the third.

James Miller restored the Vees three-goal lead a few minutes later, poking the puck past the Centennials defenceman at the blue line and racing in on a breakaway. 

Four minutes later, on another power play, Hutchison wired home his second of the game with a one timer from the left point to make it 5-1.

After Merritt cut the lead to 5-2 with a shorthanded goal, Miller iced the game by scoring on a 2-on-1 rush with 1:27 to play.

The Vees now get set to travel to Salmon Arm to play the Silverbacks (5-4-1) Friday. Night in the first of six meetings this season.