The Merritt Centennials (4-2-0) host the Penticton Vees (2-0-0) in game two of their second round series. The Centennials look to get back in the series, as they trail the best of seven 2-0 after back to back 4-1 losses in games one and two. After scoring 21 goals in the first round against West Kelowna, the Cents have only scored twice in two games against the Vees. Cents Head Coach/GM Joe Martin says the best players just simply need to be the best players.
"Our best offensive players need to step up. We need more from them."
The Vees have dominated in the shot category so far. The Vees led the league in the regular season in goals against, due in large part to their shot suppression. The Centennials have only managed 48 shots in two games, while the Vees have managed 76. The top d pairing of Griffin Mendel and James Miller have shut down the Centennials top line of Mike Regush, Tyler Ward and Brett Jewell so far this series. That line has only contributed one point thus far, after contributing 22 in the first round.
The Vees have been striking early on in the series, as they've opened the scoring in both games under three minutes into it. That's an area the Centennials would like to see change, as they never conceded the first goal of the game in the first round. By the time the Centennials have been able to beat Mat Robson, the score has been 3-0 against them in both games.
The Centennials have not beaten the Vees in the playoffs since 2006, losing 14 straight playoff games. With the series shifting back to Merritt, there is a strong possibility for a different type of hockey. The Centennials played the Vees very well during the season at home, winning their most recent game in January. The Cents have had leads on home ice against the Vees as well, something that hasn't happened a whole lot on the road.
Mat Robson and Jake Berger will get the starts tonight. Both goaltenders have been great in the series so far. Berger is 4-2 so far with a 3.11 GAA and a .914 SV%, while Robson is 2-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .958 SV%. Lineup wise, forward Zach Court (undisclosed) will miss his third straight game. He has not played this series. The Vees will be without Taylor Sanheim (Upper Body) tonight.
Puckdrop goes at 7pm at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.