Monday, November 7, 2011

Centennials Hand Vees First Home Loss:

This was posted on Castanet.net yesterday:

Centennials hand Vees first home loss
by Contributed - Story: 66965
Nov 6, 2011 / 10:03 am

The Penticton Vees suffered their first home loss of the 2011-2012 season on Saturday, a 3-2 overtime victory for the Merritt Centennials. It’s the first win in Penticton for the Cents’ since February 5th, 2005.

Merritt would open the scoring for the second straight game against the Vees when Evan Stack struck on the power-play at 5:27 of the first period.

The Centennials added one more before the period was out when Billy Marshall’s wrist shot eluded starter Chad Katunar on the blocker side.

Penticton would start to find their legs in the second period, coinciding with a goaltending change, as Mike Garteig came in to replace Katunar to start the second.

Despite creating numerous scoring chances off the rush and cycle the Vees were unable to solve Merritt netminder Tyler Steel in the second frame; including several chances by Joey Benik on the power-play.

The Vees weren’t discouraged as they continued their strong play into the third period and were rewarded on the power-play. Connor Reilly had his slap-shot deflect of Centennials defenseman, Billy Marshall and past Steel at 4:50.

The goal seemed to give the Vees life as they continued to pressure the Cents’ who seemed to fall back on their heels, trying to cling to a one goal lead.
Penticton would find the equalizer in dramatic fashion late in the third period. With Tyler Steel being assessed a delay of game penalty; the Vees pulled the goalie for a 6-on-4 power-play in the final minute of the third.

In a scramble after a Joey Benik point-shot, Grant Nicholson, from behind the net, banked the puck off Steel and in for the tying goal at 19:30.

For the second straight meeting the two teams would have to decide the outcome in overtime.

Early in the four-on-four overtime session, Brent Fletcher intercepted a puck behind the Vees net and centered a pass in the slot for Richard Sabourin, who screamed a one-timer past Garteig’s glove for the game-winning-goal at 1:17.

-Fraser Rodgers

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