A 3-2 loss to the Merritt Centennials has extended the Penticton Vees’ losing streak to three games.
The Vees opened the scoring when rookie Ryan Gropp went from his backhand to forehand to beat Centennials goalie Tyler Steel in the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday night. The Centennials knotted the game at one when they won a puck battle in the corner to the left of Chad Katunar as Sylvan Harper fed Brendan Lamont, who found a hole to sneak the puck past Katunar. The Centennials added their second and third unanswered goals from Sebastian Pare and Brandon Bruce. The third goal got past Katunar as the Centennials kept chipping away at the puck while Katunar tried to cover it.
The Vees started the third period with Nic Renyard in goal in favour of Katunar, who made 21 saves on 24 shots. Renyard turned aside all seven shots he faced in 17:30 of action.
Part of the Vees late push in the third included a goal by affiliate player Derek Hughes, setup by DePourcq. Steel finished with 17 saves.
The Vees travel to Chilliwack today to face the Chiefs at 7 p.m. It will also be their final game without captain Troy Stecher, James de Haas, Wade Murphy and Michael Rebry who are playing with Team Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, N.S. Canada West defeated Canada East 1-0 on Friday for the chance to defend their gold medal on Sunday against the United States. The goal medal game is being televised on TSN2 at 3:30 p.m. Canada East is facing Switzerland for the bronze medal.