The Centennials faced off against the Vees yet again, and once again it was the Vees who came out on top 5-2.
Although there was no scoring in the early goings of the first period, the Cents did manage to ripple mesh first. At the 14:28 mark of the 1st, Sean Michalevich converted on a rebound after a low shot by Rylan Van Unen bounced off the pads of Yaniv Perets into the slot. Unfortunately for the Cents, they quickly surrendered the equalizer as just 20 seconds later Alex DiPaolo converted from the high slot with a shot through the wickets of Ryan Winter who saw his first action for the Centennials. Early on the whistles were in the pocket for the game as the Cents and Vees only got one opportunity a piece in the opening frame. Shots were 15-10 in favour of the Vees after 1.
The Vees took control early in the 2nd with quick goals from Jack Barnes and Evan McIntyre to give them a two goal edge not even 70 seconds into the period. Vincent Nardone scored short handed at the 12:30 mark, and DiPaolo earned his 2nd of the game by batting a puck out of mid-air and into the net. Matt Osadick finally supplied an answer for the Centennials, sniping one low on Perets after possibly the best shift of the game where the Cents were making good crisp passes and moving the puck laterally around the zone. After 2 the shots were 30-23.
In the third, the game degraded into a parade to the penalty box. The Vees were in trouble early after taking Osadick out of the game with a high-stick. Holding a bloody rag to his mouth Osadick went to the tunnel for repairs and didn’t return. The Cents couldn’t find the back of the net despite a lengthy 5-on-3 powerplay, and then the Vees started to get opportunities. Despite all the chances on the powerplay, neither team converted with the extra man. Merritt also found themselves short two returning defenseman as Joey Berkopec and Talon Zakall were both given misconducts towards the end of the game. The final shots were 37 to 33 in favour of the Vees.
The Cents should expect to be down to a manageable number on the roster before facing the defending champion Prince George Spruce Kings on Wednesday in PG and Friday in Merritt.
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