The Merritt Centennials, (16-19-2-1) fell short to the Penticton Vees, (25-9-2-2), last night over in Penticton, with a final score of 4-3.
The Centennials opened up the scoring at 6:56 of the first period as Brendan Schneider’s shot deflected off of Matthew Kopperud and got past Adam Scheel’s blocker to make it 1-0 for Merritt. The Vees got 14 shots on Jacob Berger in the first but he turned them all away. The Cents got nine shots on Sheel with one getting past him.
The second period is when things got interesting; the Vees managed to get on the board and tie the game up at 2:13 of the second thanks to Massimo Rizzo. At 9:25 of the second period, the Cents jumped up to a 2-1 lead, that goal coming from Joey Berkopec, assists from Berkopec’s goal came from Mathieu Gosselin and Tyrell Buckley. Just three and a half minutes later, the Cents jumped up to a 3-1 lead with Gosselin scoring just 9 seconds into the Cents power play. Mike Van Unen and Henry Cleghorn drew the assists on that goal.
At 16:13 of the second period, Marcus Mitchell wired a shot past Berger to cut the Cents lead in half, and just 68 seconds later, it was Taylor Ward that got the rebound on Jonny Tychonick’s original shot, that got past Berger to tie things up at three.
The start of the third saw the Vees take the lead for the first time, that goal coming from Owen Sillinger. The rest of the period was pretty quiet except for penalties, at 8:46 the Vees ended up getting a bench minor for too many men on the ice, the Cents drawing a penalty at 10:53 with Henry Cleghorn going off for holding, both teams killing off those penalties. At 16:14 of the third, it was Mike Van Unen that went off for boarding Taylor Ward into the rink’s boards.
The Vees outshot the Cents 43-21.
The next game day action for the Cents goes Friday night at home, as they take on the Vernon Vipers, (27-9-1-4), at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. The Vipers have already clinched a playoff spot.
Listen live on Q101 with Jared Thomas, pregame goes at 6:45 with puck drop at 7:00.