Recap: Vees strong start leads to 5-2 win over Merritt

The Penticton Vees got right back in the win column on Friday, beating the Merritt Centennials 5-2, at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC)

Six days removed from having their seven-game win streak end last Saturday, the Vees rebounded with their 20th win and in front over 3,000 fans at the SOEC. It was the Vees’ annual Feed the Valley night, and a record amount of food and cash was donated to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

“We played with speed right from the start, which really put them on their heels. I was impressed how our group played with proper emotion. It was a real mature approach,” commented Director of Hockey Operations, Matt Miller.

Arnott, Pichette, and Renfrew all had two points in the win. Renfrew scored twice Friday, including into an empty net with two and a half minutes left in regulation.

“It starts with our leadership group. They set the tone and led by example, and it was reflected on the scoresheet,” replied Miller.

Penticton was backed by a strong start as Callum Arnott, Thomas Pichette, and Renfrew all scored in the first, as the Vees led 3-1 after the first frame. Arnott, who played his 100th BCHL career regular season on Friday, scored just 1:46 into the game that put Penticton up 1-0. After the Centennials tied it, the Vees scored twice more in the opening frame to go up by a pair.

“It starts with our leadership group. They set the tone and led by example, and it was reflected on the scoresheet,” replied Miller.

Renfrew put the Vees ahead 2-1 at 11:03 on a great set up at the top of the crease by James Fisher. Then, Pichette made it 3-1 on a slapshot from the top of the right circle at 18:53. Right off a face-off, Pichette was served up a fee out of the corner by Hellyer.

Penticton added to their lead in the second, as Keenan made it 4-1 with his power play goal at 10:42. Francesco Dell’Elce set up Keenan for the one-timer that he let rip from the face-off dot.

Merritt made it 4-2 early in the third, as Charles Thomas Larochelle scored on the power play, as he snuck his shot through the pads of Ingemann. But that’s as close as the Cents’ comeback attempt made it.

Renfrew put the game on ice with his empty net goal with two and a half minutes to go.


The Vees finish a perfect 8-0 against the Centennials this season, outscoring them 36-11. Penticton has won 27 games in a row against Merritt, which dates back to February 15, 2019. Billy Renfrew extended his point streak to eight games with his two goals. He has 15 points (7G, 8A) during his point streak.

Feed the Valley totals are being calculated and hard numbers with come out early next week.


Shots: 42-18, Vees

Vees Scoring: Renfrew (19, 20), Arnott (26), Pichette (18), Keenan (6)

Vees Goaltending: Will Ingemann (W) 60:00 16/18


Vees: 1/3

Centennials: 1/3

Three Stars:

1) Callum Arnott

2) Thomas Pichette

3) Larry Keenan


NEXT GAME: The Vees (39-8-3-2) host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the SOEC on Saturday night; puck drop is 6:00 pm. Tickets available at www.valleyfirsttix.com