The B.C. Hockey League pre-season has been a breeze for the Vees so far.
Alex DiPaolo scored twice and a four-goal second-period uprising carried visiting Penticton to a 5-2 victory over the Merritt Centennials Saturday and a sweep of the home-and-home series.
The Vees, who scored five unanswered goals after falling behind 1-0, are now a perfect 3-0 in the pre-season.
Evan McIntyre, Vincent Nardone and Jack Barnes also scored and rookies Liam Malmquist had three assists and Danny Weight two for the Vees.
Matt Osadick and Sean Michalevich replied for the Centennials.
Rookie Yaniv Perets went the distance for the win in his debut for the Vees and made 31 saves, while Ryan Winter and Pierre Olivier-Couture split the goaltending for Merritt and combined to stop 30 pucks.
The teams traded goals in a 20-second span late in the first period before the Vees pounced for goals by Barnes and McIntyre in the first 69 seconds of the second stanza and never looked back.
Nardone’s goal, a shorthanded tally, and DiPaolo’s second ballooned the count to 5-1 before Osadick got one back for Merritt late in the second period to close out the scoring.
Vees 3 Centennials 1: Goals by David Silye and newcomers Steve Holtz and Jay O’Brien propelled Penticton to victory on Friday in their first home exhibition encounter.
Olson Werenka replied for the Centennials.
Veteran Derek Krall played all 60 minutes for the Vees, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced while Aidan Hosein turned aside 14 of the 15 shots before Jakob Gullmes stopped 21 of the 23 shots in the losing effort for Merritt.
Werenka got the visitors on the board just 45 seconds in but the Vees quickly tied it 42 seconds later as the veteran Silye finished with a nifty shot to the top corner.
The Vees dominated the second period, outshooting Merritt 16-8 and breaking through for the lone goal at 15:50 as Holtz scored on a point blast.
O’Brien, a 2018 first-round pick of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, scored a power play goal to seal to the deal in the third period.
The Vees play their final three pre-season games at home, including a game Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. against the West Kelowna Warriors.
Tickets are just $5 at the SOEC Box Office. If you can’t make it to the rink, the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com with the voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.
The Vees close it out by welcoming the defending RBC Cup national-champion Brooks Bandits to the SOEC for games Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Penticton opens the regular season with road games against the Trail Smoke Eaters Sept. 6-7. The Vees play their first six on the road before their home opener Sept. 27 against West Kelowna … Team Blue, coached by Matt Fraser, defeated Team White, coached by fellow assistant coach Patrick Sexton, 5-2 in the Vees annual Peaches Cup intra-squad game Thursday night… Three Vees alumni are suiting up for the New York Rangers in the annual Traverse City Prospects Tournament. Centres Nicholas Jones and Patrick Newell along with forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage are all in the squad for the eight-team tourney which starts Sept. 6 in Traverse City, Michigan. Kappo Kakko, the No. 2 selection by the Rangers in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, is also in the squad. Other NHL teams taking part are Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Minnesota, defending tourney champions Columbus and the host Detroit Red Wings.