Vees take game 2 in series

It was another quick start for the Penticton Vees Saturday night after a blast from Jamie Armstrong less than three minutes into the first period starting the scoring in game two of the Interior Division semi-final.

Duncan Campbell, Taylor Ward and Owen Sillinger also scored for Penticton in a 4-1 win over the Merritt Centennials at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC). Goalie Mat Robson picked up his second win of the series, stopping 20 of 21 shots.

Armstrong also chipped in an assist on the Vees’ third goal, as the line of Armstrong, Ward and Matt Gosiewski finished with a pair of goals and four points. 

Merritt's Stephan Seeger spoiled Robson’s shutout bid late in the third period, as the Cents’ are now winless in five games at the SOEC dating back to the regular season.

Armstrong had the ice-breaker, just 2:44 into the first period, when his shot along the ice went in off the inside of Jacob Berger’s pad from the right-wing; Armstrong picking up his first career playoff goal and the only goal in the first period.

Penticton dominated the second, outshooting the Cents’ 16-6, and finally broke through late. After a stellar defensive play in the neutral zone by James Miller to strip Tyler Ward of the puck, Nicholas Jones carved his way into the Merritt zone, before dropping the puck to Duncan Campbell, who scored his first of the series at 13:56.

“We really owned the zone in that period and getting that second goal was really critical. Until then, it’s still a one-shot game,” said head coach Fred Harbinson.

Penticton added to their lead late in the third, as Ward finished off a three-on-one down low. Armstrong dropped for Gosiewski who tried to deke around the goaltender but lost the puck going to his backhand. Fortunately for the Vees, Ward was right there to swat in the loose puck from the side of the goal at 14:25.

Seeger got the Cents’ on the scoresheet with just under two minutes left, jumping at the puck off a face-off in the Vees’ end and quickly going cross-bar down on a shot over Robson’s glove. Penticton did manage to get that one back inside the final minute.

Ty Amonte originally fanned on his shot when he was staring down an open net, but quickly recovered to slide it over to Sillinger who made no mistake, scoring his first of the series at 19:07.

The series now heads to Merritt for games three (Monday) and four (Tuesday).

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