Vees sweep home-and-home series with Centennials

Connor Chartier nets winner for Vees over Centennials in Nicola Valley Arena

Submitted by Fraser Rodgers

For the second straight night the Penticton Vees came from behind to beat the Merritt Centennials, scoring four goals in the third period en route to a 5-3 win at Nicola Valley Arena Saturday.

With the win, the Vees sweep the weekend home-and-home series against the Centennials and run their win streak to five games.

After a scoreless first period Jack Ramsey opened the scoring early in the second. Off a face-off in the Centennials end, Matt Serratore had his shot stopped but Ramsey crashed the crease and stuffed in the rebound at 3:33.

Merritt tied it up just before the eight-minute mark when Colin Grannary pounced on a rebound. The shot from the blue line was blocked but Grannary scooped up the puck and took it around the net for the wrap-around goal.

The Centennials took the lead late in frame on a power play goal by Diego Cuglietta. Shane Poulsen hit the post with a hard shot from blue line but the puck skipped right to Cuglietta for the tap in.

Demico Hannoun brought the Vees back level in the opening seconds of the third. Hannoun skated off the wall and wheeled into the high slot, before firing a wrist-shot into the top corner over Jonah Imoo’s blocker; Hannoun picking up his 16th 57 seconds into the third.

The back-and-forth period continued as Cuglietta put the Cents back ahead four minutes later on another power play. Cuglietta was robbed point blank by Brendan Barry but quickly shoveled in his own rebound for his second of the game.

The Vees answered back less than three-minutes later. Dakota Conroy scored his first as a Vee after a faceoff to the right of the Merritt net. Conroy found the puck in front of the Imoo after Dante Fabbro sent the puck down from the point. Conroy quickly turned to his backhand and slid it underneath Imoo at 8:42.

Another fresh face put the Vees ahead for good eight-minutes after Conroy found the back of the net. Connor Chartier played give-and-go with Riley Alferd down the left wing before snapping the puck over Imoo’s glove at 16:07.

Conroy sealed the victory when he picked up his second goal with an empty-netter at 19:20.

The Vees record improves to 22-3-0-1 and their road record bumps up to 11-2-0-1. They are now 13-2-0-0 against their own division. Patrick Newell’s assist in the third period extended his BCHL best point streak to 13 games.

Vees notes: The Three V’s blog reported that forward Matt Serratore was injured in the second period of Saturday’s. Serratore got tangled behind the Centennials net and fell awkwardly feet first into the boards.