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Preview: Vees host Centennials for Wicked Wednesday

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (5-4-0) saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday and look to bounce back during their first three-game week of the season when they host the Merritt Centennials (7-5-0) Wednesday night.

Saturday, Kenny Johnson scored a shorthanded goal and Jack LaFontaine made 24 saves, but the Vees fell 2-1 to the Vernon Vipers on the road.

Penalties were a focal point for both teams in the game, as the Vees took eight minors and the Vipers took four plus a five-minute major for goalie interference. However it was the Vipers capitalizing as both of their goals came on the man advantage.

The Centennials had a three-game road trip last weekend going 2-1. Friday they downed the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-3 before dropping a 4-2 game to the Cowichan Valley Capitals the next night.

They wrapped up their trip with a 4-3 win over the Surrey Eagles, putting them in sole position of first place in the Interior Division with 14 points, though they have played 12 games where every other Interior Division team has played fewer. The Vees have played just nine.

The two teams met in Merritt September 28 and it was Penticton jumping out to a 4-0 lead after the opening period. The Vees would extend their lead to 5-0 before the Centennials pushed back, eventually cutting it down to 5-3.

Andre Ghantous, in his first game as a Vee, ended Merritt’s hopes of completing the comeback by scoring with just over a minute remaining. Brendan Harrogate, also making his Vees debut, led the attack with two goals and an assist in the win. Derek Krall stopped 36 shots for his first win of the season.

Dating back to the 2017 playoffs, the Vees have won the last eight meetings between these two teams.

This game marks the first of six Boston Pizza Wicked Wednesday’s at the South Okanagan Events Centre, featuring $5 general admission.

Team Statistics

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

David Silye – 5G 10A 9GP

Eric Linell – 5G 7A 11GP

Ryan Sandelin – 5G 3A 9GP

Merritt Centennials 

Bradley Cocca – 4G 11A 12GP

Nick Granowicz – 7G 7A 12GP

Matthieu Gosselin – 8G 4A 12GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power play – 15.2 per cent (13th in BCHL)

Penalty kill – 83.8 per cent (8th in BCHL)

Merritt Centennials

Power play – 14.9 per cent (15th in BCHL)

Penalty kill – 72.7 per cent (17th in BCHL)

Season Series

September 28, 2018 – Vees 6 @ Centennials 3 Boxscore

October 10, 2018 – Vees vs Centennials

October 26, 2018 – Vees @ Centennials

November 2, 2018 – Vees vs Centennials

January 20, 2019 – Vees @ Centennials

February 15, 2019 – Vees vs Centennials