The Merritt Centennials embarked on their 45th anniversary season by honoring one of the best Cents over the course of their history: Eddie Beers.
Despite the emotional raising of Beers' number 16 to the rafters, the Cents couldn't draw inspiration and came out in the first period flat footed.
It didn't take long for the Vees to capitalize as Rylan Van Unen had his pocket picked defensively by Cassidy Bowes who found a streaking Owen Sillinger on the partial 2-on-1, and Silinger was able to put the puck past an outstretched Berger to make it 1-0 at the 1:40 mark of the 1st.
Just 7 seconds later it was Sillinger's younger brother, Lukas who converted on a strange scramble in front of the net after an off angle shot from Ben Allen.
That prompted Head Coach and General Manager Joe Martin to burn his time out, and give his team a tongue lashing. The Cents managed to steady the ship from there, but slowly started the march to the penalty box. Over the remainder of the first, the Cents went to the box 3 times without suffering any ill effects.
The Cents started the second period a lot better than the first and it was the current Centennial who wears Eddie Bears' number 16, Zach Court, who started the scoring. He got a feed from Joey Berkopec, and managed to snipe it top corner glove side on Nolan Hildebrand at the 2:09.
6 minutes later it was the other Zach on the team, that being Zach Zorn, who got the Cents back to even ground with the Vees, working up the short side he ripped a shot top corner blockerside, annihilating the water bottle over Hildebrand's shoulder.
After the Zorn goal, Ashton Stockie and a Sillinger marched off with coincidental minors for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the parade to the penalty box continued for the Cents. It was Court who was in the box when Jonny Tychonik wired in a point shot unassisted past Jacob Berger to restore the 1 goal lead.
The Vees rode that one goal lead all the way into the final minute of the 3rd period, where they got some late insurance on another bizarre goal, this time by Taylor Ward.
They ended up winning the game 4-2. The Cents were a little undisciplined in the game as they were shorthanded 8 times, but managed to kill 7 of them. However, they couldn't convert on the powerplay where they went 0/5. Berger played decently stopping 34/38 shots, and looked sharp throughout the contest.
Coach Martin said that discipline will be the name of the game come tomorrow night against Wenatchee.
"A lot of that is in our hands to fix, there's a lot of calls that don't have to be called."
The Cents will see if they can channel some discipline come Saturday night against the Wenatchee Wild. Puck drop at 7pm.