The Merritt Centennials proved the old addage true, revenge is dish best served cold. After going 0-4 against the Vipers to this point in the season in their fifth attempt, the Cents topped the top team in the league 5-0.
The game started with a goal from the blue line. Colten Gerlib who pinched at the line twice before to keep the play alive, kept the puck in for a third time, and it was the charm. He threw it on net, and it deflected off a Viper defender through the seven-hole of Anthony Yamnitsky to get the Cents on the board 1:10 into the game.
Just 4 minutes later, Matthieu Gosselin was the recipient of some good fortune as a D-to-D pass behind the net, came off Mike Ufberg's stick right out to the side of the net, and 'The Goose' was there to bat the puck in past the far pad on Yamnitsky to make it 2-0. Austin Roden stopped all 8 shots he faced in the first.
The second period was a strange one for the Cents, and it was filled with penalties on both sides. Merritt killed off an early 5-on-3, then got a lengthy man advantage midway through the period after a rush saw Zach Court collide with Yamnitsky, Shane Kelly came over the boards and went right after Court throwing punches earning himself a 5 minute major for fighting and a game misconduct. However, the Cents couldn't convert and only threw 2 shots on net in the period.
The final frame saw the Cents come back to life. Brad Cocca converted on a Nick Wicks feed from the corner, and below the hashmarks put the moves on Yamnitsky backhand forehand and upstairs to make it 3-0.
On a powerplay later in the period, Cocca poked one across the line that was disallowed, but the Cents didn't let up. Newcomer Zach Risteau got his first point of the year setting up Christian Sabin for a wicked wrister that beat Yamnistky high glove side.
Henry Cleghorn got some insurance late when Gosselin fluttered a pass in the air cross ice to Risteau, he skated full steam wrapped around the net and fed Cleghorn a heavy pass to make it 5-0.
Austin Roden earned his first shutout of the year, stopping all 24 shots he faced, and earned a third star mention.
Head Coach Joe Martin said it was his teams conviction that got them the W.
"You saw that they were willing to go to the dirty areas and get to those loose pucks. They stuck with it, and built confidence, and saw results, and that was the difference."
Next game is on the road Saturday Night against the Trail Smokeaters at 7pm.