The Merritt Centennials opened main camp with a trio of practices earlier in the day, but ended with an Intersquad match as Team Red took on Team White.
Hopefuls from both sides battled hard, and played with pace, but after some early pressure from Team White, it was Team Red who got the first goal, and never looked back. A signee from earlier in the summer, Matt Kopperud, got his first of the game as Team Red went on to win over Team White 6-1.
Blake Sidoni got the second goal of the first period on the Power Play with Lane French in the box for elbowing, and that's how things ended after 20 minutes with the shots 15 for Team Red, and 10 for Team White.
Period 2 was back and forth in throughout with neither team able to get extended offensive zone time, and half way through the second frame the goalies were replaced. Vincent Duplessis stopped all 14 shots he faced for Team Red, while Jordan Naylor allowed 2 goals against for Team White, but was the busier of the two netminders. Jonathan Holloway came in for Team Red and Cale Dolan for Team White.
With 6 minutes remaining in the second period, Kopperud got his second of the game, which was the lone goal of the period. After 40 minutes of play, Team Red led 3-0.
The third period saw some early life from Team White as Joey Berkopec, a right-handed defenseman acquired during the summer, scored the lone goal for Team White finding his way to the net, and burying a rebound past a down and out Holloway. Then Team Red seized the momentum and didn't look back scoring 3 more goals. Gideon Cooper got the 4-1 goal before Ashton Stockie, yet another acquisition from the summer scored his first of camp to make it 5-1. Blake Sidoni had a goal called back, but Team Red followed it up with another marker shortly after by Mathieu Gosselin.
After the game Head Coach and General Manager Joe Martin said he was encouraged by the performance of some of the players he brought in over the summer.
"You want to be as sure as you can, and you never are until you have the eyball test in your own rink, and the guy is playing here in Merritt. So it's always good when they show up, and they confirm what everyone has been saying and confirm what video has shown us in the past."
Tomorrow morning brings another round of practices before another Intersquad game at 7pm.