The Cents finished their road trip on a high note with a comeback victory over the Surrey Eagle 5-4.
The Cents started the game short a man after Jack Vincent spent too much time on the ice after warm ups had expired incurring a delay of game call, and on the early powerplay the Eagles were able to convert with a shot from the slot from Jeffrey Stewart that beat Berger to make it 1-0.
Just two minutes later at the 3:29 mark John Wesley scored his 17th of the season, and the Cents found themselves trailing by two early in the first.
At the 5:38 mark of the first, Rylan Van Unen was sprung on a breakaway by Matthieu Gosselin, and streaked down the left wing gained the zone and as he cut to the net roofed it over the glove of Nic Tallarico who got the start for the Eagles to cut the lead in half.
The Cents found themselves in penalty trouble midway through the frame, and Henry Cleghorn was able to breakaway after a block at the line. He drove wide on the left side before making a move to the backhand that froze Tallarico, and Cleghorn was able to flip it over the left pad to tie the game at 2.
Just 2 minutes later at the 12:37 mark, after a dump in, Tallarico went out to play the puck behind the net, and after a forecheck from the Cents he gave a pass to the tape of Brendan Schneider who took the gift, and put it into the gaping net to give the Cents their first lead 3-2, and that chased Tallarico from the net, the second time the Cents completed that feat on this road swing. Daniel Davidson came into the game in relief and played strong for the remainder of the first.
The second period was much quieter on the penalty front with no minors committed by other team, but a lone goal from Caige Sterzer of the Eagles who scored on a breakaway of his own to score over the shoulder of Berger to tie the game at threes.
The Cents got an early powerplay after a string of penalties, and some four on four play. The Cents were able to get three kicks at the can as Jackson Munro unleashed a shot the line that didn’t get through, Nick Wicks got a second chance, and Davidson made the save, but Cleghorn was there for the third crack and backhanded it past Davidson for his 6th of the season.
The teams traded chances before Zach Zorn was able to convert on one of the craziest goals so far this year. After pressure off the faceoff, the Cents threw a shot on net, and Zorn who wasn’t facing the net was knocked to his knees, and as he went down was able to backhand the puck off a bounce, and chip it over the left shoulder of Davidson top corner to give the Cents a 5-3 lead.
With 5 minutes remaining in the game the Eagles were pressing to get back in the game and on an off angle shot, Berger kicked the puck into the slot where it went off the back of Buckley and in to make it a nail biting finish. The Cents managed to hang on for the win, and took it 5-4.
After the game Head Coach Joe Martin said that despite crawling back into the standings in the Interior Division, the focus remains internal.
“A lot of people will be focusing on the game next week, and what will happen if we win, but I think what’s important for this team is to focus on ourselves and continue to grow as a hockey team together.”
The Cents will have 5 days to prepare for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Friday for a matchup in Salmon Arm at the Shaw Centre.