Ryley Risling cares more about winning then scoring the winner.
Risling gave the Penticton Vees a 2-0 lead in the second period with his fourth of the season. His tally wound up being the decisive goal in a 5-1 win over the Merritt Centennials Friday night in front of a crowd of 2,853 in the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“It was just one of those things in front of the net. We get the puck to the net. I kind of got it in the slot again and put it on net,” said Risling. “It comes back to me and I pretty much have an open cage. I just throw it in there. It’s pretty nice to get one, but it’s better to have the win.”
The victory extends the Vees winning streak to six games.
Risling liked the effort he and his teammates put forward. It started with Risling, of Medicine Hat, nearly putting the Vees up 1-0 early in match. Nearly halfway throughout the period, the Vees led in shots by a margin of 9-2 which by the end of the frame was 13-7. There was a few good opportunities that Jacob Berger turned aside as he finished with 34 saves.
Just over five minutes into the second, and on the power play, Nicholas Jones fed Grant Cruikshank, who beat Berger with a wrist shot high glove as the rookie was wide open in the slot. It was Cruikshank’s eight of the season. Risling’s winner came six minutes later. With six minutes remaining in the middle frame, Turner Ripplinger scored his first BCHL tally when he redirected Taylor Ward’s shot.
Read more on Ripplinger here.
In the third period, Ty Amonte scored his fourth of the season giving the Vees a 4-0 lead.
“I thought we came out really strong,” said Risling, the game’s first star. “We wanted to set the tone early. I thought we played well defensively.”
The Centennials lone goal by Mike Faulkner on the power play left Mat Robson with no chance of stopping it. Robson described it as a broken play.
“It went back to the point. The guy took a nice wrist shot and I was seeing it the whole way,” recalled Robson, who finished with 27 saves. “There wasn’t too much traffic. The stick came up last minute and instead of hitting me in the chest it goes high glove.”
Robson liked the defensive play of his teammates as they didn’t give the visitors many quality chances. Nearly half of their shots, 13, came in the second period. Risling said the Centennials are good and played the Vees hard along the wall and forced them to move pucks quickly.
“They are a good, physical team,” said Risling. “I’m expecting the same thing out of them tomorrow night.”
Ty Barnstable scored his first BCHL tally with 50 seconds remaining.
The Centennials went 1/2 of the power play, while the Vees were 1/1.
Cruikshank was named the second star, Ripplinger the third.