The Merritt Centennials had their fair share of chances, but didn’t make enough of them count as the Chilliwack Chiefs came back to beat the Cents in OT for the 2nd time this season 3-2.
The first period saw a lot of skating end to end, but not a lot of time spent in the offensive zone. The Cents would get chances on the PP early, but went 0/3 in the first. Austin Roden didn’t have a very bust first as shots after 1 were 9-7 Cents.
The Cents really ran the table in the second period, out shooting the Chiefs 12-6, but only got rewarded once. Mathieu Gosselin scored a goal of the year candidate. Skating 4on4 the Cents forward protected the puck to the outside along the left wing, then danced behind the net, stopped up in the right corner, saw an opening, and cut out along the goal-line, pulling the puck to his forehand and sniping blocker side on Daniel Chenard to make it 1-0 on what counted as a shorthanded goal. Through 2 periods, Roden was perfect stopping 13 shots.
In the third, the Chiefs got on the powerplay just 40 seconds in, and converted just 1:22 in. Harrison Blaisdell found a soft spot in the high slot to make it 1-1. The Cents quickly answered on a rush. Brett Roloson drove wide on the right side and threw a shot on, Rylan Van Unen found the rebound and from the goal line was able to bank one off the back-side of Chenard and in to restore the one-goal lead 2-1. The Chiefs restored the tie 2 minutes later on a deflection and despite multiple opportunities to get the go ahead goal, the Cents couldn’t break the deadlock before the end of the third.
Overtime was evenly matched until Rylan Van Unen hauled down Skylar Brindamour going to the net. The Chiefs would score on the PP.
The Cents went 0/5 on the PP tonight, while Chilliwack went 2/6.
After the game, Head Coach Joe Martin said it was another learning lesson for the Cents.
“It’s tough when you out chance the other team, feel like your playing better, but don’t come out on top. We need to get back to finding ways to win.”
With the loss in OT, the Cents have now picked up points in 10 straight games.
Next up the Langley Rivermen Sunday at the NVMA 2pm.
ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME: Brett Willits 1G 0A
3RD STAR: Daniel Chenard 31/33
2ND STAR: Rylan Van Unen 1G 0A
1st STAR: Marcus Tesink 0G 1A