The Merritt Centennials were able to strike early, but weren’t able to get offense after that as they skated to a 3-2 shootout loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters.
The Cents found their way onto the scoreboard just 5 minutes in as Rylan Van Unen drove wide with a step down the left side, and as he crossed behind the net threw it back out front, Nick Wicks took a whack at it before Brendan Schneider slowly poked it across the line to give the Cents the 1-0 lead. The lead would last for all of 6 minutes before the Smoke Eaters tied things up with a Carter Jones shot from the high slot. Trail would add to their lead under 30 seconds later off a deflection in in front to give them a 2-1 lead. 2 minutes later Brett Roloson would pick up a partial turnover and snipe it home for his 5th goal of the season to tie things back up at 2’s. The Cents outshot the Smokies 17-10 in the first. With Austin Roden stopping 8/10.
The second period saw the teams amp up the physical intensity, but other than a couple penalties each way it didn’t result on anything on the scoreboard. The teams picked up just 6 and 7 shots respectively. The Cents had the edge 23-17.
The final frame saw a couple more chances for the Cents, but despite throwing 34 shots on net they needed to test Adam Marcoux even more as no one go any more offense in the third and it went to OT.
In OT, both teams felt each other out like a chess match trying to keep control of the puck. Trail threw 4 shots on Austin Roden to the Centennials 2, and the game needed a shootout.
In the shootout, Daniel Tkac, Christian Sabin, and Nick Wicks were all stopped while Trail got a goal from young gun Kent Johnson to win it.
The Cents return to the point column, but they will need to wait until Wednesday against the Coquitlam Express at home to return to the win column.
ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kent Johnson SO Goal
3rd STAR: Mack Byers 0G 1A
2nd STAR: Brett Roloson 1G 0A
1st STAR: Adam Marcoux 32/34