Merritt Centennials
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It was close through two, but the Merritt Centennials gave the West Kelowna Warriorsa taste of their own medicine from last weekend, as the Cents pulled away with 4 goals in the third period to win 7-4. 

The game started with both teams trading chances, but no one being rewarded for it until late in the first period. Chase Bell won a face-off in the Warriors zone on the right side, and won it back to Joey Berkopec at the right point. Berkopec walked in to the top of the circle and from the outside was able to wrist one top corner over Cole Demers to make it 1-0. 

On the ensuing shift however, the Warriors were pressing and managed to draw a penalty. Christian Sabin went to the box, and then Zorn followed him moments later to give the Warriors a 5-on-3. After a huge save by Austin Roden to deny a back door pass, Stephen Kleysen found the puck on the ensuing scramble, and before Roden could get reset fired it into the net to tie things up at 1 to end the first. 

In the second period both teams were pressing, but it was the Warriors that struck first. Chase Dubois on a rebound from a Jared Marino shot was able to flip the puck backhand over the blocker of Roden to make it 2-1. 

The Cents would draw even just before the middle of the frame, on a powerplay that had some beautiful puck movement. The puck touched everyone on the powerplay, before Brad Cocce fed it to the slot to Zach Court, and he fed it down low to the right side of the net where Nick Wicks finished off the play to tie things back up at 2. 

The Warriors would seize the lead back on a bit of an odd one, as Michael Ryan had his point shot tipped by Chase Stevenson in front of the net who was on his belly after a hit in front. That gave the Warriors the 3-2 lead at the 12:08 mark. 

The Cents would get back into the game courtesy another powerplay goal, and once again it was the stellar puck movement of the first unit. The puck was fed into Brad Cocce in the high slot and he was able to make a couple of moves, before feeding it down low to Zach Court who just had to deflect it past Cole Demers to tie the game 3-3, and that's how the second period would finish. 

The final frame would start off with some fireworks for the Centennials, as less than a minute in Rylan Van Unen, in his fashion, came streaking down the left wing and on a partial break away was able to fire one low on Demers to make it 4-3. 

The Warriors answered the goal by drawing a penalty, but that didn't stop Zach Zorn who scored another shorthanded goal by deflecting down a Demers clearing attempt and put in a wrap around to make it 5-3. at the 5:15. 

5 minutes later Brendan Schneider made it 6-3 with a nice inside out move on the Warriors defender before wristing it mid glove side on Demers. 

With 5 minutes left the Warriors pulled the goalie to try and come back, but Henry Cleghorn iced the game with a long shot on the empty net. 

Max Bulawka would score in garbage time to make it 7-4, but it was another game where Austin Roden stopped 50 shots of the 54 he faced, and earn a second star nod. 

The Cents will look to string together 3 in a row when they travel to Trail tonight to do battle against the Smoke Eaters. 

Puck Drop at 7pm, Pre Game at 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1 FM or stream online on your desktop or device at q101.ca. 

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The Centennials host the West Kelowna Warriors an exact week after the last time these two teams met. The Cents hope they can channel the spirit of their most recent win, 3-2 in OT against the Trail Smoke Eaters as opposed to the game against the Warriors last week that they lost 7-2.

Discipline played a factor in that matchup as the Cents found themselves in the penalty box early and often. In the end they surrendered 4 powerplay goals on 12 opportunities, and had a couple misconducts thrown in for good measure including a game misconduct for Colten Gerlib for a check from behind. 

Despite all the penalties, it didn't unravel for the Cents until the 3rd period. Up to that point it was only 2-1, but after an incident where Brad Cocca was checked from behind, the Cents ended up shorthanded, Head Coach Joe Martin was thrown out of the game, the Warriors took control scoring 4 unanswered, chasing Jacob Berger from the crease, before the Cents got a goal in garbage time to make it 6-2, and the Warriors added one more to make it 7-2. 

Coach Martin said that the Cents need to channel their frustration in the right way and they'll look to do so tonight against the 5th place in the Interior Division Warriors and make up some ground in the ever tighter standings where they're looking to make up points, now 4 points behind the next closest Salmon Arm, and 10 points behind the Warriors. These division rival clashes are key. 

Captain Jared Marino (23), Chase Dubois (22), and defenseman Michael Ryan (21) pace the Warriors attack, they have a depth of scoring throughout the line up, and goaltender and starter Nic Amundrud has returned to action as of last week against the Cents. The top three scorers for the Cents have the same point output: Henry Cleghorn (23), Zach Zorn (22), and Nick Wicks (21). 

The matchup on paper once again very similar. The Warriors with a -3 goal differential, the Cents with a -1 goal differential. The Cents headed into last weekend with the 3rd best powerplay in the league, but now sit at 10th after a bad couple nights on the man advantage and now sit at 19.5%. The Warriors slightly better in 6th with 19.9%, and on the kill the Warriors have the edge as well in 5th with an 83.6% penalty kill. The Cents now 11th after a tough weekend in that regard as well with a 81.1% kill rate. 

The Cents could turn to Austin Roden tonight to give the Warriors a taste of something different, he hasn't had a bad start in a Cents uniform going 1-1-1, making game saving efforts throughout the action he's seen this season. On the year his number slightly better than Berger's at a 91.6 SV% and a 3.02 GAA, Berger is 8-11-2-0 with a 91.1 SV% and a 3.22 GAA.  

The Warriors will likely turn to their veteran netminder Nic Amundrud after he looked solid last week against the Cents stopping 37 of 39 shots. On the year he is 7-8 with a 91.3 SV% and a 2.90 GAA. Cole Demers who had a rough night the last time he got the call in the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena losing 5-1 sports an 8-3 record, a 91.9 SV% and a 2.77 GAA. 

The Cents will look to continue the trend of the home team winning in the season series as this will be the 4th meeting of the year with the home team taking each game in convincing fashion. 

Puck drop at 7pm at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, Pre Game at 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or stream it on your desktop or device at q101.ca. 

 

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The Merritt Centennials were down, but not out thanks to the stellar play of Austin Roden in net. The Cents came back in the dying minutes of the third, and were able to get the winner in OT in one of the most thrilling games of the season in front of the hometown faithful. 

The first period didn't begin well for the Cents, as Andre Ghantous scored after coming off the near side wall, and as a right handed shot was able to get into the slot and fire a shot low glove side on Roden to get the first goal of the game, and the only goal of the first. Roden stopped 13/14 shots sent his way in the first, while Brandon Wells stopped all 8 he faced. 

The Smoke Eaters started the second period off strong, and scored on their first powerplay of the game, and it was one of the top goal scorers in the league getting it done. Ross Armour cutting through the slot from left to right, took the puck off a feed from Jeremy Lucchini, and wripped a wrister mid-blocker side on Roden. 

The Cents had an opportunity to get back into the game on a lengthy penalty to Kyle Chernenkoff after Rylan Van Unen delivered a booming clean hit. Chernenkoff instigated a fight, and Van Unen just covered up. Chernenkoff got a 5 minute major for fighting, a 2 minute minor for instigating, and a game misconduct. However, the Cents squandered the lengthy powerplay opportunity by taking two penalties to skate four on four. The Cents would eventually get on the scoreboard courtesy a timely turnover. Ethan Martini attempted a clear and it went off a forwards body (possibly an unfortunate area) and the puck came to Nick Wicks in the corner, and he fed Brad Cocca in the slot and he rifled a wrister glove-side high with just over a minute to go in the third to make it 2-1. The Smoke Eaters outshot the Cents 10-2 in the second period. 

That set the stage for the third period with the Cents trying to mount the comeback. They were pressing hard for the equalizer, but against the grain Kale Howarth streaked in on the outside cut to the middle uninhibited, made a move to the backhand, and Roden came up with an unbelievable stop with the glove on the line to keep the Cents within one. 

The Cents rewarded their netminder with 2:22 to go in the third with a little help from their home rink. Zach Zorn cleared the puck into the zone, and Wells went out of the net to play the puck. But the puck took a friendly bounce off the glass and came out front to Brendan Schneider and he was able to pocket the gift into the empty net. At the 2:22 mark of the 3rd, number 22 made it 2-2. 

That's how the game would end, and head to sudden death OT. The Cents continued pressing for the victory, and it came when Henry Cleghorn skated the puck to the right side wall, he got pinned to the wall, but got help from his linemate Zach Zorn, Zorn was able to dig the puck free and take it off the wall, he was quickly checked but worked the puck down low where Cleghorn was able to get to it, and throw it past a sprawling wells for the game winner. 

After the game Head Coach Joe Martin said it came down to accountability. 

"That's what we're trying to get through to our guys. Accountability, and knowing when you've hurt us in a way [out there], and the honus is on you to find a way to be better, and be accountable and take ownership of your actions."

Roden finished the game with 37 saves on 39 shots and a second star nod. The Cents will next be in action against the West Kelowna Warriors once again, this time in the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, before the Cents go on the road to take on these Smoke Eaters on Saturday in Trail.  

 

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The Cents right back in action tonight on the heels of a big loss in West Kelowna last night. The Cents found themselves in penalty trouble throughout the game racking up 50 penalty minutes in the game, but were able to hang in the match until the 3rd period began. It was 2-1 through 40 minutes of play before things took a turn for the worst in the third period. The Cents allowed 4 goals in the first 10 minutes of play in the 3rd period to go down 6-1. Jacob Berger was chased from the net after 5, the Cents answered with a goal from Christian Sabin in the 3rd, Henry Cleghorn ended up with a goal and an assist, but the Warriors went on to win 7-2. 

The Cents won't have a fond memory to look back on of the Trail Smoke Eaters either as the last time the two teams played the Smokies were able to win in heart breaking fashion. The game was in late October on Parent's Weekend for the Cents and the Cents were enjoying a 3-1 lead halfway through the game before the Smoke Eaters mounted the comeback on the strength of their powerplay tying things up at 3 before the 2nd period ended. In the 3rd they got the go ahead goal from Spencer McLean before Tyrell Buckley got his second of the game to tie it up with 4 minutes to go, only to have Levi Glasman score unassisted a minute later to regain the lead and win it 5-4 for the Smoke Eaters. 

The Cents will have to forget both of those haunting memories as they head into action tonight, and Head Coach Joe Martin said on the post game show last night that they need to channel their frustration into this game in a positive way. However, After losing 4-0 against the Vernon Vipers last night, the Smoke Eaters will be looking to take out their frustrations on the Cents, they also lost the Interior Division lead for the time being. 

The Smoke Eaters have the most potent scoring offense in the BCHL with 111 goals fo, and only 85 against. The Cents have allowed fewer goals with 82, but they're also 30 goals behind on the goal scoring pace with 80. The Smoke Eaters boast 3 goal scorers in the top ten in the league with Ross Armour and Kale Howarth now 2nd and 3rd in league scoring with 40 and 39 points a piece, followed by the league leading rookie scorer in Levi Glasman with 29 points. They also have a threat on the back end with Jeremy Lucchini 3rd in BCHL scoring from a defenseman with 26 points. Those 26 points are 4 more than the Cents leading scorer which is now Henry Cleghorn with 22 points. 

Needless to say, the Cents will have to be disciplined with not only their penalties but in all facets of the game to come out on top in this one. The Smoke Eaters now are 3rd in the league on the powerplay at 21.7% and have an 81.8% kill. The Cents slide to 5th on the powerplay at 20.5% and 6th on the penalty kill at 82.9%. 

Despite leading the league in wins, the Smoke Eaters goaltenders not as hot. Brandon Wells is better statistically with a 11-7 record a 3.01 GAA and a 89.9 SV%, while Tanner Marshall is 8-1 with a 90.8SV% but a 3.24 GAA. The Cents Jacob Berger got chased from net last night, and we could see Austin Roden make another start for the team, he's 0-1-1 for the Cents, and despite allowing 2 goals in relief last night his last full game was a 50 plus save effort against the Vernon Vipers that saw him earn first star. He may have to duplicate that for the Cents to down the Smoke Eaters. 

Puck Drop is at 7pm. Pre Game at 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or stream online at q101.ca 

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The Cents came into West Kelowna looking to spoil the Warriors’ version of parents weekend, but after a tightly contested 40 minutes of play, the Warriors came to life in the third and took the game 7-2.

The first period saw the Cents on their heels early getting into penalty trouble. They wouldn’t register their first shot on net until they were down 2 men, and found themselves on a 2-on-1. That was halfway through the first period, and the Cents managed to stand tall on the penalty kill until late in the frame when RJ Murphy was able to deflect one in off a pointshot and past Jacob Berger who got the start in net.

The second period started with Cavin Tilsley in the box, and the Centennials on a rare powerplay on the night, but they weren’t able to convert. The Cents would take 5 more penalties in the period, but no goals were scored with the man advantage in the second.

The Warriors added a goal after Chase Dubois feathered a pass through neutral ice onto the stick of a streaking Parm Dhaliwal, and he went post and in mid-glove past Berger to make it 2-0 late in the second.

Just two minutes later the Cents got on the board on a bit of a lucky one. Tyrell Buckley dumped the puck in from centre and Nik Amundrud, who made the start for the Warriors, went out to play it. The puck took a strange bounce off the corner and into the slot where Henry Cleghorn was there to bat the gift into the net. The second period would end 2-1.

The third period is where the game got away. The Warriors scored two and a half minutes in after Spencer Hora walked in from the right point and beat Berger low. Two minutes later Cavin Tilsley scored after a string of saves in front, it was skated back to the line and a low wrister beat Berger to the blocker side.

Then at the 5:20 mark Brad Cocca was hit from behind, and a skirmish ensued. Tyrell Buckley and Cocca went to the box for the Cents, while Garrett Ewert and Tilsley went to the box for the Warriors, but it was Buckley who got the extra penalty. It was at this point that Joe Martin was ejected from the game. On the ensuing powerplay, the Warriors got another goal. This time from Captain Jared Marino to lead 5-1. It also ended Berger’s night in net, and Austin Roden came on in relief.

Roden made some good saves early, but he was beaten as well surrendering a goal to Jordan Todd.

Christian Sabin got a redemption goal after Cleghorn found his in the slot, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Warriors would add another one before the game was done to top the Cents 7-2.

Head Coach Joe Martin said after the game that the team needs to find a way to learn from this game.

“There’s a lot of frustration, but we need to channel this frustration and learn a lesson from this game. We can’t give the other team that many opportunities, and we have to use the frustration we feel from this game tomorrow night.”

The Cents won’t have time to dwell on this one as they will host the league leading Trail Smoke Eaters tomorrow night at 7pm. Pre Game at 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or online on your desktop or device at q101.ca

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