The Merritt Centennials put a forgettable first period in the rearview, continued to improve, and rode Nick Granowicz to a 4-3 win in OT against the Wenatchee Wild for their 4th win in a row.
The Cents overcame a poor start where just everything seemed to be going wrong. They couldn't complete a clean pass, they couldn't get out of the zone, and the allow one to AJ Hodges but escape the period just down one in large part to the play of Austin Roden in net. The shot totals were only 10-6 after 1, but they felt a lot more lopsided with the zone time the Wild had.
In the second period, the Cents started to find some form offensively, but not before the Wild added another one 4-on-4 with Captain Lucas Sowder doing the damage. At the 13:21 mark, Captain Nick Wicks would dance across the offensive blue line cut across the ice, and then cut back and drop off a gift for Mike Van Unen that he blasted top corner to cut the lead in half. Shots after 2 were 26-17.
The final frame saw the Cents come out determined. Nick Granowicz silence the Wild crowd in the 'minute to win it' where the crowd goes absolutely insane, holding his hand to his ear afterward and taunting the crowd. The Wild would quickly regain the lead at the 3 minute mark when Nathan Iannone potted a rebound to the side of the net past Roden. But Granowicz would back up his taunt by finishing off a 2-on-1 rush to tie the game back at 3. The Cents and Wild wouldn't solve anything in the final minutes, and for the first time the Cents headed to OT.
In overtime, the Cents had the early chances, then had to weather a Wild storm around the net. As if fated, Nick Granowicz had a steal at his own blue line and then blew past the Wild defenders to stare down Austin Park 1-on-1 and Granowicz would snipe it blocker-side to vault the Cents to a 4-3 victory.
Austin Roden stopped 37/40 shots for his and the Cents fourth win in a row.
The Cents and Wild will do it all over again tomorrow night from the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. Puck Drop 7pm.