The Penticton Vees racked up the goals for their third win in a row against the Merritt Centennials on Friday, Jan. 17.
The 9-1 win puts the Vees seven and one for their last eight games and at the top of the Interior Division with a 10 point lead on the Trail Smoke Eaters.
Eight different goal scorers and a 46-29 shot count were part of the Vees dominating gameplay in a deeply physical matchup. Six roughing penalties and three blow-to-the-head penalties, including one that ejected Centennials defenseman Brophy Dunne, serve as a record to the chippy atmosphere.
“What’s important to us is not getting guys suspended, losing guys to injury or something stupid,” said Vees head coach Fred Harbinson in the post-game interview with the Western. “When you get in the playoffs, the energy gets high, the emotion gets high, and you have to be able to stay in the moment, and this was a good example where we had to keep it in check and not lose ourselves.”
Danny Weight opened the game’s scoring unassisted, 7:26, going between his own legs before finding the back of the net for a highlight-reel goal – his 20th so far this season.
— Penticton Vees (@PentictonVees) January 18, 2020
Facing 29 shots, Carl Stankowski let up the only goal against the Vees at the 13:23 mark, keeping out every other shot sent his way.
The second period saw the Vees blitz their way to a 7-1 lead, starting just 1:36 into the period with Jay O’Brien’s 16th goal of the season off assists from Weight and Conner Hutchison.
Captain David Silye added to the lead two minutes later with a powerplay goal, picking up his 19th of the season, with the assistance of Steve Holtz and Hutchison.
Jackson Neidermeyer extended the lead another six minutes later for his 18th of the season, assisted by Silye and Ethan Martini.
O’Brien picked up his second goal of the game 10 minutes after his first, scoring off a deflected shot from Hutchison.
Sillinger and Silye added to their assist totals for the season with their 32nd and 33rd as Tristan Amonte picked up another goal for the Vees 14:11 into the second.
The final goal of the period came from Jack Barnes for his sixth of the season. Darwin Lakoduk and Carson Kosobud assisted on the play.
In an attempt to stem the bleeding, the Centennials swapped in their back-up goalie for the third period, who held the Vees offence at bay until the final minute of the game.
Liam Malmquist picked up his 15th goal of the season with 50 seconds left, and Darwin Lakoduk scored his eighth with 23 before the final buzzer.
With a fourth straight win in their sights, the Vees take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at home in Penticton tonight at 6 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
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