The Merritt Centennials scored the game winner midway through the second overtime period Sunday in a thrilling 6-5 victory over the West Kelowna Warriors.
It was the first pre-season game for both teams as both coaches went with rosters filled exclusively with players who have never played in the BC Hockey League.
Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster was pleased with the effort of his young hopefuls, especially along the blueline, signalling out Jake Harrison (15), Anthony Bishop (16) and Greydon Robinson (18).
Ferster was also pleased with the way the team came back in the third period to force overtime.
Trailing 4-2 early in the third, the Warriors chipped away at the lead and eventually tied it on goals from Parker Ward and Julian Uhrynuik to knot the game at 4-4.
Robinson put the Warriors up on a power-play late in the the third only to watch as Merritt equalized in the dying second with the goaltender on the bench for an extra attacker.
The Centennials led 3-1 after one and 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Harrison and Eric Theander also scored for the Warriors.
Matt Mitchell played the opening 32 minutes allowing three goals on 17 shots. Austin Piquette went the rest of the way, allowing three goals on 19 shots.
The same two teams hook up again Monday in Merritt.
Ferster says he expects to dress another all rookie line-up.
"We still have some guys we want to give some looks to, some guys sat out tonight," says Ferster.
"I don't know if any veterans will get in tomorrow night. I would probably say no."
Ferster expected to trim four or five from the roster following Sunday's game and hopes to be down close to his starting squad for the final four pre-season games.
The Warriors play a home-and-home set with Penticton next weekend before closing out the pre-season schedule the following weekend against Salmon Arm.
The regular season opens with the Showcase Series in Chilliwack.
The Warriors will face Coquitlam and Nanaimo at the Showcase before returning home for the home opener Friday, Sept 26 against the Vernon Vipers.
The Penticton Vees have added a veteran forward just days before training camp.
The team said Wednesday it has acquired Demico Hannoun from the Surrey Eagles.
In exchange for Hannoun, the Vees sent Surrey the CHL playing rights to 19-year-old defenceman Alex Coulombe and future considerations.
“Demico is a player who we are very familiar with, and I look forward to working with him so can he achieve his maximum potential," said Vees President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson.
Hannoun, who turns 19 in October, brings a wealth of experience to the Vees as he prepares for his fourth BCHL season.
The North Delta product has played in 182 career regular season and playoff games in the BCHL with Surrey and Vernon. He has has twice played in the RBC Cup.
Last season with the Vipers, Hannoun was nearly a point-per-game player, collecting 15 goals and 44 points in 48 regular season games. He added 12 points in 18 playoff games as the Vipers advanced to the Fred Page Cup Final against Coquitlam.
Hannoun represented Canada on the international stage last season as a member of Team Canada West at the 2013 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Nova Scotia.
He is committed to Michigan Tech University.
Hannoun started his BCHL career in Surrey in 2011 and won a Fred Page Cup championship with the Eagles in the spring of 2013 when they edged the Vees in six games in the league final.
Hannoun and the Eagles won the inaugural Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup in Nanaimo that year and advanced all the way to the RBC Cup Semi-Final in Summerside, P.E.I.
Coulombe, from Granby, Quebec, played in 54 regular-season games with the Vees last season while adding three goals and 19 points to go along with 50 penalty-minutes. Coulombe played in all 11 of the Vees playoff games, registering one assist.
Former Salmon Arm Silverback Landon Smith has landed an NHL tryout.
Smith, who graduated from the Silverbacks following this past season, has been invited to attend the Colorado Avalanche development camp in early July.
Smith, who is from Denver, was the BCHL's MVP and leading scorer this past season with 43 goals and 40 assists
He spent one season with the Silverbacks and is joining NCAA Div. I. Quinnipiac University for the 2014/15 season.
"This is a proud day for Landon, his family and the Silverbacks," said Associate Head Coach Brandon West.
"Landon was a special player here in Salmon Arm and we are happy for him to get this opportunity. We have no doubt that he will have success at the next level due to his work ethic and passion for the game."
Smith is the fifth BCHLer to confirm attendance at an NHL development camp along with Brad McClure (Pittsburgh), Ryan Rosenthal (New Jersey), Luke Sandler (Detroit) and Reid Sturos (Winnipeg).
Another member of the 2013-2014 West Kelowna Warriors has secured a scholarship for next season.
Assistant captain Tyson Dallman has committed to Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ontario.
Dallman will begin playing for the Brock Badgers, and begin his studies, at the start of the 2014-15 season.
“One of their scouts talked to me near the end of this season,” says Dallman.
“Then their head coach Murray Nystrom met me at home in Prince Albert after the season. I did have other options, and took some time, but I felt in the end Brock was the best for me.”
Dallman played just one season for the Warriors after playing two years with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL.
He tallied 22 goals, and 20 assists in 53 games for the Warriors, and added 2 assists in 6 playoff games.
Dallman said he’ll play the same role he had here with the Warriors.
“I’ll be used as a top-six utility forward who can play in all situations, and do whatever is asked of me.
I’m definitely excited to get out there, and start the semester and hockey season. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful part of the country, so I’m eager to get out there and see it for myself.”
Dallman is the eighth Warriors player off the 2013-14 roster to secure a scholarship for the 2014-15 season.
More than 50 Warriors players have advanced to further education through hockey.
The entire Warriors organization wants to congratulate Tyson for all his efforts on and off the ice, and wish him nothing but success in the future.
The City of Penticton and Penticton Vees have reached an agreement for the BC Hockey League team to continue operations in the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“The City of Penticton is a proud supporter of its junior hockey club. This is good news for hockey fans and the community at large, because reaching an agreement with the Vees means economic activity generated during home games will continue to benefit local businesses,” said Penticton Mayor Garry Litke.
An economic impact study of the South Okanagan Events Centre found that, while the majority of Vees fans primarily come from Penticton, home games see a significant number of attendees spending money at local businesses.
Each season generates more than $2.7 million in economic activity in the South Okanagan region.
“As an anchor tenant for the SOEC, the Penticton Vees bring a lot of energy and activity into the building, and we are happy that will continue for years to come,” said Dean Clarke, General Manager of the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Penticton Vees have called the SOEC home since the facility opened in 2008. The agreement is a revenue-sharing partnership between both parties covering four years.
“This is an excellent partnership that will go a long way to building on the momentum our team has seen and keeping tickets affordable for our fans. With an agreement in place, we are now excited about the season ahead,” said Fred Harbinson, President, General Manager and Head Coach of the Penticton Vees.
The 2014-2015 season begins in September. Season’s tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC.
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