The Merritt Centennials finished off 2018 strong with a pair of wins over the Trail Smoke Eaters including tonight 5-3.
The game started with some rough stuff, but the Cents cooled things down by converting on the powerplay. Mattias Dal Monte blasted one from the top of the right dot after taking a dish from Matt Kopperud to make it 1-0. St. Nick Wicks would gift the Cents a 2 goal lead half-way through the first, but then the Smoke Eaters would start to crawl back. Kent Johnson and Powell Connor would add goals to tie the game after one period of play. Austin Roden made 9/11 and AP Logan Terness stopped 7/9 in the first.
The second started with the Smoke Eaters on the powerplay and they'd convert early with a shot from Diarmad Dimurro. Mathieu the Goose Gosselin would make a triumphant return to the lineup and tie the game at 3 after a shot from the right wing from Nick Granowicz created a big rebound. The shots after 2 periods were 23-20.
The Cents needed a big effort in the third, and would prove why they're one of the best teams in the BCHL on home ice. After battling through the first half of the period, the Cents would finally hit pay dirt. Brady Ziemer would walk into a perfect feed from Nick Wicks who was looking for the trailer on the play, and Ziemer made no mistake ripping a wrister top corner blocker side for the game winning goal. Christian Sabin would take a page from the same book, as he'd go top salami after a steal in the offensive zone to give the Cents some extra insurance at 5-3. Final shots were 38-30 and the Cents went 2/7 on the powerplay.
ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME: Brendan Schneider 1A
3RD STAR: Mattias Dal Monte 1G
2ND STAR: Brady Ziemer 1G
1ST STAR: Nick Wicks 1G 1A
After the game Head Coach Joe Martin said he is proud of his team through the first half of the year.
"I'm impressed by our scoring, I'm impressed by our depth at every position. The only thing that needs to improve is our special teams, and that will really help us as we head into the playoffs."
The Cents head into the Christmas break and will return to action on January 4th against the Prince George Spruce Kings.