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Vees regain Interior series lead with Game 3 win
The Penticton Vees spent the B.C. Hockey League regular season torching the opposition with their high-octane offence.
Friday night at Nicola Valley Arena, they displayed airtight defence as they hung on for a 3-2 win over the host Merritt Centennials in Game 3 of the Interior Conference championship.
The Vees stormed out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Cody DePourcq and Wade Murphy, only to have the Cents rally before the intermission on tallies by Ross Mancuso and Brent Fletcher.
Penticton captain Logan Johnston’s goal in the opening minute of the second period stood as the winner.
After that, the Vees killed three Merritt powerplays, backstopped by a 24-saves performance by Chad Katunar, who is playing in place of injured starter Michael Garteig.
Minnesota-born sniper Mario Lucia picked up a pair of assists for the Vees to take first star and moved into the playoff scoring lead with six goals and seven assists for 13 points in nine games. Travis St. Denis also added a pair of helpers for the regular-season champion Vees.
Vernon’s Tyler Steel, named first star in Game 2, made 23 saves in the loss.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series went Saturday night at Nicola Valley.
In Coastal Conference Game 3 action at South Surrey Arena, the Powell River Kings hung on for a 4-3 win over the host Eagles after they chased netminder Andrew Hunt with a four-goal first period.
Daniel Schuler scored twice in the opening period, while Chris Williams and Matt Scarth added the other goals. Surrey replied with singles by Steve Koshey, early in the second, and Devon Toews and Tyler Morley in the third.
Sean Maguire made 39 saves for the win.