Penticton Vees Lukas Sillinger waits for the puck to drop. Mark Brett/Western News

Penticton Vees host division-leading Merritt Centennials

Penticton Vees and the Interior Division leaders, Merritt Centennials face off Wednesday

Wicked Wednesday is returning with a vengeance to the South Okanagan Events Centre tonight as the Penticton Vees (5-4) host the B.C. Hockey League Interior Division-leading Merritt Centennials (7-5).

The Centennials, who lost to the Vees in Merritt 6-3 on Sept. 28 in their first meeting, currently have a one point lead over the Trail Smoke Eaters.

“It better be wicked,” said Penticton coach, president and general manager Fred Harbinson Tuesday following the team practice. “It’s exciting to have Cassidy Bowes back in the line up, it’s good to see him playing again.

“Our two home games so far this year we’ve been, lights out, the better club and hopefully we’ll continue playing that way no mater who’s in or who’s out of the line up.”

Two players who won’t be on the roster Wednesday are forward Drew Esler and defenceman Mason Snell. Elser was injured in Friday’s game and Snell was assessed a two-game suspension by the league for a hit from behind in Saturday’s game against Vernon.

Related: Vees shutout Vipers 3-0

Jack Barnes, who was also injured Friday, has been sick as well and it’s not known if he will play.

The Vees and Vernon Vipers, who along with the Wenatchee Wild are tied for fifth place in the division with 10 points each, split a pair of home and away contests last weekend.

Coming into the mid-week game the Vees are sporting the league’s top goaltender in Jack LaFontaine, who will get the start again Wednesday.

With a record of four wins and three losses, the 20-year-old Mississauga native, a 2016 North Carolina Hurricanes draft pick, has a .917 save percentage and a stingy 1.87 goals against average, giving up just 13 goals in his seven games.

He also has a league-leading two shutouts.

Despite the loss Saturday to the Vipers in Vernon, Harbinson was still happy with his squad’s effort.

“Friday was one of the best games we played. I think it was one of the best games we played in the last few years,” said Harbinson.

“We competed so hard and pressured the puck in our own end and, really, to give up four shots over two periods to a team like that and to finish it off with a shutout…

Related: Vees ready to take on Vernon Vipers at home

“Vernon was a much better team the next night but I thought we still played a really solid game, we just ran out of gas, too many penalties.”

Friday LaFontaine only had to stop 13 shots to earn his second consecutive shutout of the season as the hosts blanked the Vipers 3-0.

The following night in Vernon a pair of power play goals proved to be the margin of victory in a 2-1 loss which snapped a three-game Penticton win streak.

The Vipers ran into penalty trouble in the first period of Friday’s game, sitting out five minor infractions and managing just a single shot on net.

The only goal of the frame was at 17:31 when Jack Barnes netted his first of the season from newcomer Eric Linell and Jack Lagerstrom.

It took Ryan Sandelin just 12 seconds into the second to put the team ahead by a pair of goals with power play goal and James Miller capped off a two-point night in the third with his second of the year.

The next night in Vernon the hosts opened the scoring with a power play goal midway through the first however Kenny Johnson’s shorthanded tally tied things up heading into the third.

Jesse Lansdell’s second of the season at 11:39 of the final frame with a Vee in the box proved to be the winner.

LaFontaine stopped 24 shots in the loss.

The game against Merritt is the first of six Boston Pizza Wicked Wednesdays and general admission tickets are $5. It is a 7 p.m. start.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Motorcyclist medevaced to Kelowna after collision with deer near Apex Mountain Resort

Male suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries to his neck

PHOTOS: What makes a winning Caesar?

Three local bartenders competed to make the best Caesar in Penticton

Penticton Legion’s grand reopening a success, says president

17 new members have signed up since the reopening Aug. 1

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

OHA alumna welcomed as new assistant coach for women’s varsity team

Alyssa MacMillan attended OHA from 2011 to 2016

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read