PENTICTON - The Penticton Vees made the most of their return to the South Okanagan Events Centre on Friday night. Playing their first home game in 16 days, the Vees rode a hot power-play to a 6-1 win over the Merritt Centennials.
The Vees scored three times on six power-plays, including two in the first period, as they skated to their sixth straight win.
Tyson Jost led the pack, scoring once and finishing with a game-high five points. His line-mates didn’t do too bad either, as Chris Gerrie and Scott Conway each had three points. Dante Fabbro and Owen Sillinger also scored for the home side and Anthony Brodeur won his fifth straight start, turning aside 20 shots.
Gerrie scored his first of two on the night three-minutes into the first period to open the scoring. Gerrie fired a shot underneath the glove of the Merritt goaltender from the left-circle at 3:26.
Conway then doubled the Vees lead three minutes later on their first power-play. They only needed 23-seconds to capitalize on the man-advantage, as Conway took a great cross-ice pass from Jost and buried into the open net at 6:31.
Sillinger made it 3-0 midway through the first when he forced a turnover at the offensive blue-line. Sillinger stripped the Merritt defender, before breaking in on a goal, snapping a shot over the shoulder of Cole Kehler at 11:08.
Fabbro finished off the scoring barrage on another Penticton power-play inside the final half-minute of the first. Off the face-off the puck was worked back to Fabbro, who hammered a one-time through everyone at 19:40.
After picking up three first period assists, Jost scored the only goal of the second period. The Vees Captain took a pass from Gerrie and from between the circles, ripped a wrist-shot over Kehler at 13:29.
There were some fisticuffs in the third period, as Mitch Brooks dropped the gloves with Zak Bowles and after both exchanged several blows, Brooks buckled Bowles with a quick left-hand.
After the gentlemen’s disagreement, Gerrie picked up his second of the game and it was on another Vees power-play. Jost’s initial shot was stopped but Gerrie cleaned up the rebound at side of the net at 13:14.
Ryan Forbes spoiled Anthony Brodeur’s shutout bid inside the final minute of regulation, scoring on a Merritt power-play at 19:10.
Final Score: 6-1 Vees
Shots: 33-21 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 3-6 Merritt 1-8
Three Stars: 1) Tyson Jost 2) Scott Conway 3) Chris Gerrie
The Vees (6-1-0-0) have now won six in a row and sit atop of the Interior and BCHL overall standings, after Wenatchee tied Salmon Arm Friday. After his five-point night, Jost is second in BCHL scoring, with five goals and 12 points; two back of Nanaimo’s Sheldon Rempal.
Penticton is now off to Prince George tomorrow morning, ahead of their 7pm face-off against the Spruce Kings; PG lost 5-2 to Cowichan Valley Friday. Fans can listen to the game on EZ Rock AM 800, or they can watch online at www.fasthockey.com.