The Centennials got outplayed in the first, poured it on in the second, and suffered some bad bounces in the third, and skated all the way through the game through double OT to a 3-3 tie.
In the first period no goals were scored, but the Cents were outshot 17-4, and Austin Roden had to work hard in his first start for Merritt since being acquired earlier this week. Former Centennials netminder, Colten Lancaster had a light first period of action, as he faced his old team for the first time since being traded this summer.
The second period started with the Centennials converting on the powerplay with Bulldog captain Ryan Steele in the box. Ashton Stockie was able to win the draw forward, and Brad Cocca threw it on net for Rylan Van Unen in the slot who flipped a backhander over the blocker side of Lancaster to make it 1-0.
The Cents added another one late in the frame on the powerplay by way of a nifty give and go passing play from Nick Wicks at the right point down low to the right side of the net to Zach Court who returned the pass as Wicks cheated into the slot and his shot beat Lancaster low to the right pad side to make it 2-0.
To cap off the period Brendan Schneider got called for roughing and the Cents went to the penalty kill. Short a man, Zach Zorn was able to pole the puck past a pinching defender, use his break away speed to create separation, then fight off the back check and roof it blocker side on Lancaster to get the third unanswered goal for the Cents.
The Schneider penalty carried over to the third period where the Bulldogs were able to convert early. A shot from the line deflected off a Centennial stick in front and went up top, blocker side on Roden who could only watch.
Just 2 minutes later, Joey Berkopec went to retrieve the puck in his own corner and went to advance the puck up ice, and made a rare turnover as the puck went tape to tape to Paul Selleck who was all alone in the slot and roofed one on Roden to bring the Bulldogs within one.
The Cents managed to rally after a timeout was called by Head Coach Joe Martin, but they eventually buckled with 2 minutes to go. Ryan Steele drove wide on the right side, and threw it towards the net, Roden paddled the puck away, but it went off the back checking Centennial defender and slid through his legs to tie the game.
The Cents had a couple quality chances in OT, and set the tone. Roden made a huge save on a 2-on-1 in double OT, but the Cents couldn’t find the go ahead goal and skated to a 3-3 tie.
Coach Martin said after the game that fatigue was a factor.
“It was a factor tonight, you could see we were in quicksand in the first, and even in the third. You could see we were trying to move the puck, without moving our feet, and you could see it worked against us at different points.”
The Cents will try and get out of the quicksand and extend their unbeaten streak to 4 games when they play the Surrey Eagles Sunday afternoon at 4pm. Pre Game at 3:45 with Jared Thomas on 101.1FM or stream online on your desktop or device at q101.ca.