(ISN) – PENTICTON, BC-Persistence paid off in the end for the Penticton Vees Friday night. Patrick Newell tied the game late in the third and Tyson Jost scored the game-winner early in overtime, as the Vees edged the Merritt Centennials 3-2 at the SOEC.
The come-from-behind win is the Vees fourth in a row and in the process they snapped the Centennials four-game win streak.
Jost played hero early in the four-on-four period, as he broke in alone on Merritt’s Anthony Pupplo after a great pass from Demico Hannoun. Jost was streaking down the middle and Hannoun fired him the puck from the right-wing. The 16-year-old did the rest, as he deked to his backhand for his ninth at 1:16 of overtime.
Patrick Newell forced overtime with under three-minutes left in regulation. With the Vees down 2-1 and on a late power-play, Newell moved out of the right-wing corner and attempted to fire the puck across the crease. Before the puck could get to Hannoun on the other side it hit a Merritt skate and slid through Pupplo at 17:07; Newell’s seventh extending his point streak to 12 games.
The two teams played to a scoreless first period, but combined for three goals in seven and a half minute span in the second.
Merritt opened the scoring on a puck-playing error in the Vees end. Hunter Miska raced out to play the puck but fanned on his clearing attempt. Colin Grannary picked up the biscuit and escorted it into the empty net at 9:21.
The Vees tied it six-minutes later after a scramble in the Merritt crease. On a Vees power-play, Cody DePourcq whacked in the loose puck in the blue paint after Connor Chartier tried stuffing it in at the post; DePourcq’s sixth of the year coming at 15:40
The celebration was muted shortly after, as Merritt regained the lead on a power-play of their own. Seventy-five seconds after DePourcq tied it, Shane Poulsen put the Cents’ back ahead after a blast from the blue-line. Poulsen’s one-timer went off the post and in past a screened Miska.
The Vees went into the third period trailing for only the third time this season, as they posted a 1-1 record in the previous two instances. They did ramp up the pressure on Merritt, controlling the majority of play and outshot the Cents’ 13-2 in the frame. After considerable pressure it was an indirect shot that final tied the game, which lead to the OT heroics.
Final Score: 3-2 (OT) Vees
Shots: 37-19 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 2-4 Merritt 1-3
Three Stars: 1) Tyson Jost 2) Anthony Pupplo 3) Shane Poulsen
The Vees record improves to 21-3-0-1 with the overtime win and their home record jumps to 11-1-0-0. Friday was the first power-play goal the Vees penalty-kill allowed in six-games dating back to November 5th. Patrick Newell’s third period goal extends his season-best point streak to 12 games. The Vees are now 9-1-0-0 when they’ve surrendered the opening goal this season; now 2-1-0-0 when trailing after two periods.
The two teams go right back at it Saturday night in Merritt at the Nicola Valley Arena; face-off is 7:30pm. Fans can listen to the game on EZ Rock AM 800, or they can watch online at www.fasthockey.com