Patience was needed for the crowd of 905 at the South Okanagan Events Centre to see their Penticton Vees defeat the Merritt Centennials 3-0 on Thursday.
Outshot by the Centennials 14-9 in the opening period, the Vees struck first despite a valiant effort by the Centennials to keep the game close. With 13:39 gone by in the middle frame, Stefan Nicholishen’s first goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time being the winner. Nicholishen fired a blast under the crossbar past Centennials goalie Tyler Steel after being set up by Steve Iacobellis.
Nearly four minutes later Bradley Robbins tallied his fourth goal in 10 games when he redirected a Joey Laleggia blast from the point. That sealed the game for the Vees who outshot the Centennials 25-14 in the second and third period. Steel made 31 saves for the Centennials.
Billy Faust earned his first junior A shutout and collected his third win. Vees forward Garrett Milan added an empty netter with 1:07 remaining to send Vees fans home happy. The Vees are third in the Interior Conference at 6-4-0 with 12 points and host the Cowichan Valley Capitals tonight. The Capitals are currently last in the Coastal Conference at 2-5-0.