Vees lead on Centennials shrinks after loss

Penticton's Sean Maktaak of the Merritt Centennials couldn't be stopped at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday night where they defeated the Penticton Vees 5-2 in BCHL action. Maktaak collected an assist on the Centennials' fourth goal.
— image credit: Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Two goals 10 seconds apart helped the Merritt Centennials defeat the Penticton Vees 5-2 at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday.

The goals came off the sticks of Sebastian Pare and Regan Soquila putting the visiting team up 4-1 and silencing the crowd of 2,465. Neither team could muster a goal past Chad Katunar and Tyler Steel in the first period.

The Vees were forced to play the last two periods with five defenceman after Bryan Sinz was handed a checking from behind penalty. The Centennials struck early in the second period on the power play from Sinz's penalty as Soquila jumped on a rebound following a Katunar save.

Brad McClure evened things up for the Vees at 12:11 but that was short-lived. With Thomas Nitsche in the box for interference, Centennials forward Derek Huisman redirected a pass at the top of the crease past Katunar.

Leading 2-1 heading into the third period, the Centennials blew it open with the two quick goals. That was the end of Katunar's night after four goals on 20 shots. A fifth Centennials goal was scored by Huisman, who intercepted a pass on his own blue line and fired it into an empty net as the Vees pulled Nic Renyard for the extra attacker on the power play. Shortly after, Cody DePourcq scored a goal for the Vees after he banged in a rebound for his 12th tally of the season.

The loss sees the Vees lead atop of the Interior Conference shrink to four points, with the Centennials still holding a game in hand. They travel to Trail today to take on the Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena.



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