Merritt Centennials
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The Cents play their third game in three days as they have less than a 24-hour turnaround to get prepared for the game this afternoon against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Cents fans you may think you know pain and heartache as the Cents have lost their last 2, but the Capitals come into this game on an 8-game losing skid. It will be a battle for who has more desperation, and a will to win.

The Cents once again showed that will early in the game last night against the Clippers. They drew 5 penalties in the first period alone, but weren’t able to convert on any man advantages. The Clippers did manage to sneak one past Austin Roden in the first to make it 1-0.

The second saw the penalties begin to swing the other way, with the Clippers drawing 4 penalties to the Cents 1, but they weren’t having any luck with the man advantage either and the game went to the 3rd period 1-0.

An early powerplay in the third gave the Clippers a 2-0 lead, but Zach Zorn was able to get the Cents back within one with his speed and size on the outside, cutting to the net and putting a backhand shortside on Noah Featherstonehaugh Gowe to make it 2-1.

The Cents were fighting penalties all period, 6 in fact, and before they could pull the goalie for the equalizer in the final minute, the Clippers added another marker late to ice the game and take it 3-1.

The good news for Cents fans is that the Capitals have had an equally busy weekend. They fell to the West Kelowna Warriors 3-1 on Friday at home, and the Vancouver Grizzlies 7-2 at the Q Centre, so they will have the same amount of rest as Merritt.

The Capitals and Cents last met in late September where the Cents won their second game of the year 7-1. It’s been a long time since then, but Cowichan finds themselves still in the same position they’ve been in since that point 17th in the league.

Cowichan Valley is led by Troy Mactavish (37), Ty Pochipinski (34), and Tate Coughlin (30) up front. The Cents got one lone goal last night, Zach Zorn unassisted on shorthanded to move him into a tie for most shorthanded goals on the year with 5. Zach Risteau has the hot hand for the Cents. Since returning from the USHL, Risteau has 14 points in 13 games, and adds that extra skill on the Cents powerplay, and skill to whatever line he’s on. Henry Cleghorn has gone quiet for the Cents in the last week, and he’s a player the Cents need to start rolling again, if the team is going to start picking up wins.

The battle between the pipes will see the Caps turn to Michael Corson and JJ Pichette. Corson is 3-5 with a 91.6 SV% and a 3.20 GAA. Pichette is 4-12 with an 87.2 SV% and a 5.00 GAA. The Cents will decide between Jacob Berger and Austin Roden. Roden played phenomenal last night, but took the loss and is now 8-10-0-2 with a 92.4 SV%, a 2.71 GAA and 1 shutout.Berger is 12-21-2-0 with a 90.6 SV% and a 3.41 GAA with 2 shutouts.

The Capitals are a team that plays well on home ice, and they have the desperation of vying for a playoff spot on the line. The Cents will have to be hungrier if they want to come away with the W this afternoon.

Puck Drop 2pm, Pre-Game 1:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or online at q101.ca.

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