The Centennials return to the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena after a one game road trip to Prince George where they had another great game, but unfortunately ended up on the wrong side of the scoresheet. The Spruce Kings ended up taking the game in overtime despite many chances from the Cents to take the lead before then. The Cents didn’t come home completely empty handed as they will get a point for the overtime loss and now have 7 on the year, but will need more if they want to advance past where they currently sit in the league standings, 15th place.
The Penticton Vees are coming off a hard fought two game set against the Vernon Vipers where they played two tight games. One ended in a 3-2 victory for the Vees, while the other skated all the way through extra time to a 2-2 draw. The Vees remain the only undefeated team in the BCHL as they are 6-0-1. Despite their undefeated record they’ve only had two games that they’ve won in convincing fashion with a 3 goal margin or more.
One of those tight games was the first game of the season when the Penticton Vees visited Merritt last. They were able to get out to a 2-0 lead early, but in the second the Cents bounced back to tie it, before the Vees scored on the powerplay and got a late goal to ice the game and win 4-2.
The Cents will have to stay disciplined as the Vees are tied for the league lead on the powerplay with a 25.7% conversion rate, and are also very strong on the penalty kill where they’re second in the league with a 87.9% kill rate. Comparitively, the Cents have the second worst powerplay in league with a 13.5% conversion rate, and 12th on the penalty kill with a 79.7% kill rate.
Head Coach Joe Martin says the Vees are often overlooked for their defensive play.
"They're a hard working team, and they've had some tight games, but they've found ways to win."
The Cents will have to find a way to win to avoid another 3 game losing streak, and they'll look to do so tonight at 7pm at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Pre game at 6:45 with Jared Thomas: 101.1 on the radio, q101.ca online, or the Q101 Merritt app on your mobile device.