The Penticton Vees were shut down on Feb. 15 at the South Okanagan Events Centre by the Merritt Centennials 4-2.
Merritt’s goaltender Austin Roden turned aside great shots in first period made by Massimo Rizzo and Cassidy Bowes. Daniel Tkac put his team on the board when he stole the puck from Carson Kosobud and bested Jack LaFontaine on the blocker side with 5:34 left in the period.
LaFontaine hit the ice hard in the second period when Rylan Van Unen got a breakaway and was tripped by Jack Lagerstorm. Both players slid into the net and Lafontaine, knocking the net off its pegs.
While LaFontaine took a couple minutes to get back on his feet, he ended up staying in net to field the penalty shot by the Centennials. Unen went for his weak blocker side and made it a 2-0 game with 2:44 left in the second, and LaFontaine was pulled 10 minutes later to be replaced by Derek Krall.
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After a big hit and a penalty shot for a goal, @penticton.vees goalie Jack LaFontaine is off the ice! After two periods against the @bchl.merritt.centennials, the Vees are down 29 shots to 25 and 3 goals to 1! There’s still a whole period of play yet to come at the @southokanaganeventscentre for them to turn it around!
A lucky bounce after the puck hit the dasher behind the Merritt net set up Ryan Sanelin to cut across the crease and out-wait Roden. He was able to slide it in for a power play goal.
The Vees defence were caught off-guard as the period was winding down, allowing Nick Granowicz to take a break away pass and beat Krall gloveside in the final 49 seconds of the second.
Jonathon Smart was called for goalie interference shortly after the goal, which allowed Merritt to capitalize on a power play in the third.
Despite Penticton having a 2-on-1 shorthanded break, Merritt was able to regain the puck and Matthew Kopperbud beat Krall in the first minute of the third making the score 4-1.
Roden continued his hot streak, turnng aside 30 shots in the final period. Massimo Rizzo drew a delayed penalty when he was hauled down in the right corner, but he was able to slide the puck over to Jack Barnes who delivered a one-timer past Roden with 9:52 left.
The score would stay 4-2 for Merritt as the period wound down, with shots 55-36 for Penticton. The Vees are now set to host the Langley Rivermen for the first time since the Sept. 8 game.
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