The Merritt Centennials ran out of gas in the final game of a 4 in 5 stretch, and lost to the Victoria Grizzlies 4-1.
The Grizzlies shot out to an early lead courtesy their phenom Alex Newhook. He set up Riley Hughes on a 2-on-1 and then got a gift from a Centennials defender between the hash marks and beat Roden up high to make it 2-0. Christian Sabin answered for the Cents at the 9:32 mark to cut the lead in half and get the Cents back in the game, but they wouldn’t find any more offense on the night. Roden stopped 11 of 13 shots in the first.
In the second period, the Cents got into penalty trouble but were able to weather the Grizzlies storm and keep them off the scoresheet in that regard on the night as they went 0/6 on the powerplay. Newhook scored a goal later in the period to make it 3-1 after 2. Roden stopped 24/27 shots through 2.
In the final frame the Cents had plenty of chances, but no puck luck. Back door plays with the net wide open just missing the final connection, empty nets where the puck was put wide or over. In the end, Newhook found a shot through the crowd to make it 4-1. Roden stopped 35/38 as the Cents fell in their final leg of the Dad’s weekend.
After the game, Head Coach Joe Martin said the Cents just ran out of gas.
“We knew it was going to be difficult, but we just weren’t sharp – physically or mentally and made some mistakes up there.”
Next up are the Penticton Vees on Friday from Penticton. There’s still spots available on the Fan Bus so call Jared at 378-3604 if you’re interested.