The Merritt Centennials ending a few running streaks last night. They ended the Wenatchee Wild's 3 game win streak, they ended their own 3 game losing streak, a 3 game drought on the powerplay, and they ended a streak that had been running since the beginning of the season, they got their first road win of the season.
The Centennials got started early in the first when Bryce Defazio went to the box at the 2:30 mark, and the Cents went to the powerplay. The man advantage had been snake bitten for the past 3 games, but got a bump when Alex Bourhas broke down the left side and then saucered a perfect area pass forward for Ashton Stockie who skated onto it and threw a quick shot on Seth Eisele and it managed to beat him low to get the Cents off their powerplay slump.
The Cents then took a pair of penalties against the potent powerplay of Wenatchee, who came into the game ranked second in the BCHL, but were able to kill both off. However, at 5 on 5, Sam Morton was able to get one past Jake Berger to tie it 1-1.
The Wild took a late penalty against the Cents, and once again the Centennials were able to convert. This time it worked down the right side, Zach Court took it out of the corner below the goal line, and found Nick Wicks in the high slot who rippled the mesh behind Eisele to get the 2-1 lead, and that's how it ended after 20 minutes of play.
The second period saw the Cents merely trying to survive defensively for a large portion. At the 4:42 mark, Joey Berkopec went off for a double-minor, and then a minute into that penalty Henry Cleghorn went off for a slashing minor, so the Cents had to face down the daunting task of killing off a full 5 on 3 powerplay. Jake Berger even had to stop a penalty shot, after Josh Arnold got behind the defense and Berkopec had to haul him down. Arnold deked in on the right side and tried to pull backhand, and Berger soundly denied him with the glove hand. They managed to survive it, and managed to score a goal against the grain when Nick Wicks gained the left side and played it to the line to Tyrell Buckley who teed it up and the puck found a way through Eisele to make it 3-1. After 40 minutes of play, the shots were 29-14 in favour of the Wild.
The Wild got back within one early in the 3rd from their leading goalscorer Jasper Weatherby. Despite the tough start to the period, the Cents managed to hang on with strong defensive play, and some key saves from Jake Berger to get their first road win of the year 3-2.
It's a busy week ahead for the Cents as they take on the Chilliwack Chiefs on Wednesday at home, The Vees in Penticton, and the Silverbacks in Salmon Arm.
Head Coach Joe Martin says that the focus will change slightly between the games.
"Against Chilliwack the focus will be mainly on our game, but against Penticton and Salmon Arm who we have some history with we're going to make adjustments to certain things they showed us in the games we've played."
All games are 7pm starts, all are on Q101.