The Merritt Centennials announced today that veteran goaltender Jacob Berger will return to the team for the 2017-18 season.
Berger, a 20-year-old from Minnetonka, Minnesota, joined the Cents last season from the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes U18 team. In 39 games in Merritt, Berger went 18-18-2 with 1 shutout.
His efforts earned him a spot on the BCHL All-Rookie Team and Berger’s numbers improved in the playoffs, where he had a 7-4-0 record.
Head Coach and GM Joe Martin says that despite his age, Berger can still earn a committment from a Division 1 college should he build on his performance.
"A lot of quality goaltenders in our league are usually 20. So for Jake I'm looking forward to him building on a rookie season last year, and following it up with an even better one this year.
The Centennials Goaltender will have to be good from the first puck drop as the home and season opener sees the Penticton Vees come to town on September 8th.
After the Centennials' AGM two things are clear: they're in better financial standing then they have been in several years, and they have a new program to help them pack the rink.
The Centennials are reporting a surplus due in large part to a program initiated by Aspen Planers. By receiving partial proceeds from timber salvage from the Pine Beetle problem, the Cents were able to add over 200,000 dollars to their revenue streams. Director of Hockey Operations, Brian Barrett, says, "We hadn't had an amount for quite a while, and then they got on the program again so we were very fortunate to be able to get a large amount of money out of that."