The Merritt Centennials couldn't convert with regularity on the powerplay and fell to the Langley Rivermen 4-2.
The first period started with a couple chances with the extra man for the Rivermen, and they converted on their second attempt with Mattias Dal Monte in the box for hooking. Ethan Leyh was able to beat Vincent Duplessis down low for the first goal of the game, and the Rivermen would add another just over 30 seconds later when Trevor Ayre converted a centering feed. The Cents then got 4 opportunities with the extra man, but couldn't convert any chances across the goal line. A big part of that was the play of Braedon Fleming in net who stopped 12 in the first to Duplessis' 6.
The Cents wouldn't find the score sheet until late in the second period where they converted their lone powerplay marker of the night. Nic Granowicz powered in solo on the right side, dipped below the goal line, then shot out front of the net and made a move backhand to beat Fleming over the blocker-side. Christian Sabin then evened the score at 2 when he poked the puck across the goal line in a crazy scramble in front. After 2, the teams were tied at 2.
Heading into the third the penalty pendulum started to swing back and forth, Langley went off, then Merritt, then Langley again. Ultimately, the go-ahead goal came 4-on-4 when Carter Stephenson skated from the defensive end to the right circle uncontested then dropped a pass for Ethan Leyh who ripped one top corner over the blocker of Duplessis to make it 3-2. The Cents were looking for the equalizer late with Leduc in the box for Langley, but despite having the goalie pulled to make it a two man advantage the Cents were outworked by Tanner Versluis who scored an empty net short handed goal to ice the game 4-2.
In the end, the Centennials went 1/10 on the powerplay while the Rivermen went 1/8. Duplessis made 25 saves on 28 shots, and the Cents fell for the first time in 5 games to see their win streak halted at 4.
The post-game was so busy with chats with scouts that coaches were unavailable for comment.
Next game will be a home contest against the Penticton Vees on Sept. 28th at 7pm. It's Humboldt Night, and the Cents will be honoring the Humboldt Broncos by raising a banner, and paying tribute to Nicola Valley first responders.