Merritt Centennials
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The Cents have strung together two wins in a row as they are in Trail tonight to take on the Smoke Eaters.

The Cents are seeing both the Warriors and Smoke Eaters for the second weekend in the row. They beat Trail last week in a thrilling 3-2 OT win. After falling 2-0, Brad Cocca made it 2-1 in the final minute of the second period to get the Cents within one. The Cents pressed during the third period, and final got the game tying goal courtesy an assist from the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, a clear into the Smoke Eaters end, led to Brandon Wells going to play the puck, but the puck took a homeside bounce off the glass right to Brendan Schneider in front who put it into the empty net. In overtime, Zorn and Cleghorn combined to get the game winner, where a diving Cleghorn put it past a sprawled Wells to make it 3-2.

After a 7-4 win last night against the Warriors, the Cents are looking to string together three wins in a row for just the second time this season, they haven’t managed to do so since their first three wins of the season back in late September.

The Smoke Eaters were shortmanned last week with 5 men out due to injury, and they’ll be short some of their top guns in this one as they’re off to the World Junior A Challenge. Seth Barton, Ross Armour, and Levi Glasman will be off to Calgary tonight, pair that with injury trouble, and it could be a long night for trail. However, the injury shortened bench last weekend gave the Cents all they could handle, and Merritt was lucky to come away with the win in OT.

The Smoke Eaters have now slid to 3rd in the division with 40 points, but only 4 points separate the top 4 teams. The Centennials have an opportunity to catch the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, if the Cents manage a win, and the Silverbacks tally another regulation loss to break out of the bottom of the division for the first time this season.

Trail owns the 4th best powerplay in the league at 21.8% while the Cents have rallied to 8th with 20.5$, and on the penalty kill the teams are separated by only .2%, but with the Zorn goal last night Merritt has 8 short handed goals, while Trail only has 5.

In net the Cents will go with Jacob Berger tonight, but both Cents netminders are in the top 20 in the league statistically, and in the top ten based on save percentage. Berger is 8-11-2-0 with a 91.31 SV% and a 3.22 GAA. Trail could turn to Tanner Marshall or Brandon Wells in net. Marshall is 8-1 with a 90.8 SV% and a 3.24 GAA, while Wells took the loss last week against the Cents and is 11-9 with a 88.6 SV% and a 3.15 GAA.

As mentioned the Cents will look to make it three in a row for just the second time this season tonight against the Smoke Eaters.

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

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