Ben Brar’s first goal of the season was key for the Penticton Vees in a 4-2 win over the Merritt Centennials Friday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.
It’s the second time the Vees have won in Merritt this season (READ: Penticton Vees Meek scores overtime winner against Centennials).
Brar’s tally, set up by captain Nicholas Jones, put the Vees up 3-0 at 14:17 of the opening frame. The Vees peppered Centennials goalie Jacob Berger with 19 shots and he lasted only lasted 20 minutes after Taylor Ward, Chris Klack and Kenny Johnson also scored.
Klack and Mitch Meek set up Ward for his fourth goal 2:17 into the opening frame. Four minutes later, Klack put his third of the season past Berger on a feed from Joseph Leahy.
Tyler Ward got the homeside on the scoresheet nearly four minutes after Brar’s goal, but the Vees struck 48 seconds later as Brar and Jacob Kamps set up Johnson. Kamps returned to the lineup after missing four games with an injury.
The Centennials scored the lone goal of the second period, beating rookie Nolan Hildebrand at 14:23, but the Okanagan Hockey Academy product would shut the door the rest of the way, finishing with 26 saves for his third win.
Colton Lancaster turned aside all 21 shots he faced in 40 minutes of action.
With the win, the Vees improve to 12-2-0, while the Centennials drop to 8-5-2-0. On Saturday, the Vees will travel to West Kelowna to face the Warriors (5-7-1-0).