(ISN) – PENTICTON, BC-The Penticton Vees started their extended home stand on a winning note Friday, downing the Merritt Centennials 4-1 at the SOEC.
The win is the Vees (41-9-3-2) third in a row, as they start a four-game home stand at the SOEC to end the regular season.
Patrick Newell, Steen Cooper, Dakota Conroy and Tyson Jost scored for the Vees and Hunter Miska turned aside 21 shots for his 31st win. The Vees got some production out of their power-play, as they scored twice on eight opportunities.
Jake Clifford was the only Centennial to beat Miska and that was indirectly after his point-shot first hit the post, then Miska before trickling in.
Newell opened the scoring seven-minutes into the first period on the Vees first power-play. Newell made a move to the net from the right-wing and when everyone anticipated a pass, Newell squeezed a shot through Jonah Imoo’s legs at 7:08; his 15th on the year.
Merritt put together a rally late in the first period and manufactured a tying goal. Off a face-off, Jake Clifford’s point-shot went off the base of the post and then off Miska before sliding in at 12:58.
Steen Cooper put the Vees back ahead in the second, as he got enough of a Gabe Bast point-shot to deflect it past Imoo at 14:51; Cooper’s third goal in two games.
The Vees then pulled away in the third period, scoring the only two goals in the final frame. Conroy stretched the Vees lead at 8:35 when he cleaned up a rebound in front of the Merritt net for his 12th to make it 3-1.
Tyson Jost then put the game on ice with a power-play goal at 10:03. Jost’s change-up crossed-up Imoo, as he forced it by the sprawled goaltender for his 22nd, which pulled him into a tie with Demico Hannoun for the team goal-scoring lead.
Miska was sharp early, as he stopped 13 of 14 Merritt shots in the first, as the Vees were caught on their heels late in the frame. His workload was significantly lighter in the final forty-minutes, as he only faced seven combined shots in the second and third.
Final Score: 4-1 Vees
Shots: 35-21 Vees
Power-Play: Vees 2-8 Merritt 0-3
Three Stars: 1) Gabe Bast 2) Dakota Conroy 3) Patrick Newell
The win improves the Vees record to 24-7-1-1 against the Interior Division and finish with a 5-3-0-0 record in eight games this season against Merritt. Riley Alferd (0-2-2), Gabe Bast (0-2-2) and Dakota Conroy (1-1-2) each finished with two point nights.
The Vees home stand continues tomorrow night, when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at the SOEC; face-off is 6pm. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, as it’s the Vees third annual Anti-Bullying night sponsored by Sendero Canyon.