The Cents were able to skate with the Vees for the first 20 minutes of hockey, but a 6 goal 2nd period led to a 9-1 route against the top team in the Interior.
In the first period the teams were evenly matched, but skill was on display. Top prospect Danny Weight took on the Cents defense 1-on-4 and dangled out the other side, then fired one tweener up and over the shoulder of Marshall to open the scoring 1-0. Evan Benwell was able to answer for the Centennials late in the frame with a slick move of his own, breaking in all alone, he faked forehand, pulled backhand and popped It over the shoulder of Stankowski to make it 1-1. Shots after 1 were 15-11 Vees.
The Vees exploded for offense in the 2nd period. Bulging the twine 6 times to lead 7-1, they got goals from Jay O’Brien, David Silye, Jackson Niedermayer, another from O’Brien, Tristan Amonte, and Jack Barnes. The Cents found themselves behind 2 just 3:30 into the second, and had an opportunity on the PP at the 5:30. They were unable to score with the man advantage, and even with a time out couldn’t turn the tide of momentum that the Vees had seized. The game slipped away there, and never really came back. Shots after 2 were 33-17.
Local Merrittonian Bryce Garcia started the third with Tanner Marshall leaving the ice with injury. He was able to hold his own stopping 11/13 and was only beaten by goals in the final minute. The Vees were able to add a couple late, one of them coming off a Centennials skate for an own goal to make it a 9-1 final. Final Shots were 46-29 Penticton. The Cents went 0/7 with the extra man, but held the Vees to one goal on 5 powerplay opportunities.
After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet Coulter said the Cents just couldn’t slow down the Vees momentum.
“You could feel the game starting to turn. I tried to call a time out to slow the game down, but the Vees could smell blood in the water and came at us hard.”
The Cents will look for a better fate tomorrow night in Trail.