Merritt Centennials
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The Cents right back in action tonight on the heels of a big loss in West Kelowna last night. The Cents found themselves in penalty trouble throughout the game racking up 50 penalty minutes in the game, but were able to hang in the match until the 3rd period began. It was 2-1 through 40 minutes of play before things took a turn for the worst in the third period. The Cents allowed 4 goals in the first 10 minutes of play in the 3rd period to go down 6-1. Jacob Berger was chased from the net after 5, the Cents answered with a goal from Christian Sabin in the 3rd, Henry Cleghorn ended up with a goal and an assist, but the Warriors went on to win 7-2. 

The Cents won't have a fond memory to look back on of the Trail Smoke Eaters either as the last time the two teams played the Smokies were able to win in heart breaking fashion. The game was in late October on Parent's Weekend for the Cents and the Cents were enjoying a 3-1 lead halfway through the game before the Smoke Eaters mounted the comeback on the strength of their powerplay tying things up at 3 before the 2nd period ended. In the 3rd they got the go ahead goal from Spencer McLean before Tyrell Buckley got his second of the game to tie it up with 4 minutes to go, only to have Levi Glasman score unassisted a minute later to regain the lead and win it 5-4 for the Smoke Eaters. 

The Cents will have to forget both of those haunting memories as they head into action tonight, and Head Coach Joe Martin said on the post game show last night that they need to channel their frustration into this game in a positive way. However, After losing 4-0 against the Vernon Vipers last night, the Smoke Eaters will be looking to take out their frustrations on the Cents, they also lost the Interior Division lead for the time being. 

The Smoke Eaters have the most potent scoring offense in the BCHL with 111 goals fo, and only 85 against. The Cents have allowed fewer goals with 82, but they're also 30 goals behind on the goal scoring pace with 80. The Smoke Eaters boast 3 goal scorers in the top ten in the league with Ross Armour and Kale Howarth now 2nd and 3rd in league scoring with 40 and 39 points a piece, followed by the league leading rookie scorer in Levi Glasman with 29 points. They also have a threat on the back end with Jeremy Lucchini 3rd in BCHL scoring from a defenseman with 26 points. Those 26 points are 4 more than the Cents leading scorer which is now Henry Cleghorn with 22 points. 

Needless to say, the Cents will have to be disciplined with not only their penalties but in all facets of the game to come out on top in this one. The Smoke Eaters now are 3rd in the league on the powerplay at 21.7% and have an 81.8% kill. The Cents slide to 5th on the powerplay at 20.5% and 6th on the penalty kill at 82.9%. 

Despite leading the league in wins, the Smoke Eaters goaltenders not as hot. Brandon Wells is better statistically with a 11-7 record a 3.01 GAA and a 89.9 SV%, while Tanner Marshall is 8-1 with a 90.8SV% but a 3.24 GAA. The Cents Jacob Berger got chased from net last night, and we could see Austin Roden make another start for the team, he's 0-1-1 for the Cents, and despite allowing 2 goals in relief last night his last full game was a 50 plus save effort against the Vernon Vipers that saw him earn first star. He may have to duplicate that for the Cents to down the Smoke Eaters. 

Puck Drop is at 7pm. Pre Game at 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or stream online at q101.ca 

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