The Merritt Centennials came out flying, the Wenatchee Wild weathered the storm and after the Cents opened the scoring the Wild were able to answer with 4 to win the game 4-1.
Both teams started the goalies of the night before, Jacob Berger for the Cents and Austin Park for the Wild, and through one period of play both stood tall. For the first time this series, the Cents managed to outshoot the Wild in the first 11-8, but weren't able to convert on their chances.
The scoring didn't arrive until halfway through the second period when Chase Bell found a rebound off a Rylan Van Unen point shot at the back door and barrelled it into the open net.
Under a minute later the Wild answered on the powerplay with Joey Berkopec in the box, and on the ensuing shift tallied another to quickly take the wind out of the building and make it 2-1. Arnold got a deflection on the first goal before setting up Matt Dorsey for the second.
With under 5 minutes to go in the second, the Wild converted another on the powerplay to make it 3-1.
The first goal of the third period would be huge, and it would go to the Wild just under 5 minutes in. Lucas Sowder pulled out from the corner and snuck past Jake Berger short side to make it 4-1.
The Cents would take some penalties in the third that kept them off the attack, and couldn't muster the same magic of a night ago.
After the game, Head Coach Joe Martin summed it up in a word.
"Disappointing. I thought we were going to win tonight, we had chances in game 2, we had chances last night, but it got away from us for a couple minutes in the second period there."
The result may be disappointing, but there's plenty of reasons to be optimistic for next year: a full compliment of defensemen returning, a strong goaltender, and plenty of promise up front.
Stay tuned to Q101.1FM and online at q101.ca for updates throughout the off-season as the Centennials begin to prepare for next year.