Vees beat up on Merritt Centennials at home, DePourcq ends goal drought

Nanne nets a hattrick, while DePourcq scores two including the winner against the Merritt Centennails

Cody DePourcq picked the right time to snap a long goal drought.

Working along the boards behind the net in the second period, the Penticton Vees forward lifted a backhand shot that trickled past Merritt Centennials goalie Tyler Steel as he skated away. According to a Twitter post by Vees play-by-play man Fraser Rodgers, it was the Penticton products first goal in 22 games. It was his second of the season and gave the Vees a 2-0 lead. That goal also proved to be the winner in a 7-1 final at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday night. DePourcq then made it 3-0 five minutes later, as he pounced on a rebound and made no mistake with a gaping net staring at him.

Sam Mellor gave the crowd of 1,546 something to cheer about when he gave the Vees a 1-0 lead at 9:42 of the first. With Ryan Gropp at the opposite side of the crease, Mellor made two Centennials defenders give him space to skate towards Steel before firing a backhand in.

Also having a big night offensively for the Vees was Louie Nanne, who scored a hattrick, while defenceman Troy Stecher collected four assists. Jedd Soleway, wearing 24, made his Vees debut skating with Nanne and Wade Murphy. While dishing out a few hits, Soleway was credited with the second assist on Nanne’s third goal. Vees goalie Chad Katunar had a strong outing making 35 saves. Steel was pulled by the Centennials after allowing five goals on 14 shots. His backup Russell Sanderson allowed two goals on seven shots. The Vees scored twice on five power play opportunities, while the Centennials scored once on eight opportunities.

The Vees host the Langley Rivermen tonight at 5 p.m. The Rivermen lost to the Trail Smoke Eaters 6-5 in overtime at Cominco Arena in Trail. The Rivermen blew a 3-0 lead in that game.

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