Vees win in long shootout

The Penticton Vees won their sixth straight game Sunday night, but the Merritt did not make it easy, taking the game to the 10th round of the shootout.

A scoreless first period had the Centennials leading 16-9 in shots and both teams hitting the post once. The Vees came out with jump in the second, registering the first eight shots on net, but the Centennials got on the board first with a goal from Bradley Cocca.

The Vees had two power-play opportunities, one which carried over into the third, but couldn’t even the game through 40 minutes.

Late in the third the Vees were handed their fourth power play of the game, but couldn’t connect again. Entering the final minute of play, LaFontaine was on the bench when the Vees finally tied the game with a goal from Cassidy Bowes.

The game stayed tied through overtime and deep into the shootout.

The first six shooters were all stopped before the Merritt Captain, Wicks, was able to beat LaFontaine through the five hole. Lukas Sillinger was given the assignment to tie the game, and he did just that.

After nearly losing control of the puck just inside the blue line, Sillinger kicked the puck back to himself before wiring a shot into the corner over Roden’s glove to extend the game.

The next 10 shooters were stopped, those included Miller, David Silye, Brendan Harrogate, Eric Linell and Cole Shepard for the Vees, before the game finally ended. After LaFontaine stopped Payton Matsui, Jack Barnes hopped over the boards as the 10th shooter for the Vees.

Barnes skated down the middle before firing a wrist shot under the glove of Roden to end it, giving the Vees their sixth straight victory. The loss was Merritt’s sixth consecutive game that had gone to overtime.

With the win Penticton extends their lead atop the Interior Division to six points over Merritt, and seven over the Wenatchee Wild. The Vees now get set for a three-game road trip to the Island Division.

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