Mike Reilly winner helps Vees earn 38th straight win

A Mike Reilly blast from the point gave the Penticton Vees a 5-3 win against the Merritt Centennials, the Vees’ 38th straight victory.

  • Mar. 2, 2012 5:00 p.m.

A Mike Reilly blast from the point gave the Penticton Vees a 5-3 win against the Merritt Centennials, the Vees’ 38th straight victory.

Not only did the win tie a BCHL record for longest undefeated streak at 38 games, the road victory also gives the Vees a new record for most consecutive road wins with 20.

Things started well for the Vees, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the Nicola Valley Arena. Steven Fogarty opened the scoring shorthanded. Mario Lucia then made it 2-0. In the second period, the Centennials wasted little time getting back in as Chad Brears beat Vees netminder Chad Katunar 30 seconds into the frame. Two minutes later, Brandon Bruce evened the score. While Curtis Loik would reply four minutes later, Billy Marshall put the Centennials back even with the Vees.

Following Reilly’s goal, Joey Benik sealed the Vees’ 50th win with an empty-netter. Katunar made 29 saves for the win, while Centennials goalie Lino Chimienti made 28 saves.

Hardest working Vee honour went to Chad Bannor and the Valley First Charitable Donation Total was $325 pushing the total to $715.

The Vees are back in action tonight as they host the Salmon Arm SilverBacks in the seventh and final game of the season series. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

The SilverBacks enter the game on a four-game losing streak. Their last defeat was a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs. Should the Vees win today, they will be one game short of equaling a national record of 40 consecutive wins held by Sudbury and Rayside Balfour in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.