Merritt Centennials
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The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday the names of the five finalists for the CJHL Coach of the Year and a familiar name is among the list.

For his efforts in the 2018-19 season, which stands as the third best regular season in Centennials history behind only the legendary Joe Tennant teams of 77 & 78, Joe Martin has been named a finalist for the CJHL's national award.

In his fourth and final year as head coach in Merritt, Martin led the team to a record of 36-15-0-4, a 24-point improvement from the 2017-18 season, including 12 more wins, to finish in a tie for first place in the Interior Division. The offensive side of the game flourished under Martin’s leadership, finishing second in the league with 220 goals for and a plus-38 goal differential while also scoring the second-most power-play goals in 2018-19 with 63. In addition to the success on the ice, The Centennials were among the league leaders in players committed to NCAA Division I programs with 11, including seven that announced their commitments during the 2018-19 season. He also served an assistant coach for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge the last two years, winning gold in 2017 and bronze in 2018.

Martin will be up against other top coaches in the CJHL including: Ryan PapaioannouBrooks Bandits (AJHL), Jesse WinchesterBrockville Braves (CCHL), Blake SpillerPortage Terriers (MJHL),  Mike TarantinoOakville Blades (OJHL),

This year’s award will be formally presented to the recipient during the NHLCA’s Global Coaches’ Clinic, June 20, in Vancouver, B.C.

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