For the first time in 2018, the Cents can call themselves victorious. Granted there's only been 3 games since the Christmas break, the Cents didn't want to stretch this streak out any further, and proved it with their pace and determination throughout 60 minutes in the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Saturday night against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The night started with the Cents getting their first lead of 2018, after Matt Kopperud was sprung on a partial breakaway by Zach Zorn, he did the heavy lifting cutting to the net, and forcing Kyle Dumba to make a huge save that had him down and out, and Zorn used his nose for the net and found the loose puck and put it in the open net.
The Cents weren't done there as later in the period they found themselves on the powerplay, and they got another first, their first powerplay goal of 2018, and it couldn't have been prettier. A Sedinery style slap-pass from Mike Van Unen to Matthieu Gosselin that he fluttered into the shortside corner over a perplexed Dumba to make it 2-0, and that's how the Cents would skate into the 2nd.
In the second, the Centennials were awarded another powerplay early, and Gosselin was awarded another goal, this time after some tenacious play in front by him and his linemates Henry Cleghorn and Chase Bell. They battled in front, recovered the puck behind the net, and then found Gosselin in the slot who tapped it home for his second on the night, both on the powerplay.
However, the Silverbacks would mount the comeback, and it would start on a weird one from Justin Wilson who took a short side shot on Austin Roden, who got the start for the Cents, it looked like Roden made the initial save, but when he readjusted the puck slid across the line to make it 3-1.
The Silverbacks got another one from Tanner Campbell later in the period to make it 3-2 heading into the third.
The Cents didn't sit back in the third, but didn't get any separation until 1:30 remaining when Nick Wicks broke across the blue line on the counter attack with Brendan Schneider. Wicks deked to the right, but feathered a backhand pass onto the tape of Schneider who tapped it past Dumba to make it 4-2.
After the game, Head Coach Joe Martin credited the boys for their mental toughness.
"You know it's tough when you have everyone asking, "when are you going to win one." And yeah, it was only 3 games, but that stuff starts to get on your nerves, so give them credit they came ready to play tonight and got the win."
Cents next play on Wednesday, January 10th against the Penticton Vees where they'll look for their first win against their archrivals this season.