The Merritt Centennials get set to do battle with the reigning BCHL Champion Spruce Kings in exhibition action tonight.
The Cents are coming off a pair of losses to the Penticton Vees over the weekend that was. The first match on Friday resulted in a 3-1 loss, and the rematch on Saturday was a 5-2 loss. The Centennials have made some tough decisions since the weekend and have slimmed the roster to 16 forwards, 7 defenseman, and 4 goalies.
In goal, Aiden Hosein and Jakob Gullmes shined in the 3-1 loss to the Vees on Friday. The score could've been much worse if not for the combined efforts of the Centennials netminders. Ryan Winter and Pierre Olivier-Couture had a much harder time on Saturday night and the Vees capitalized on more of their chances. The battle for the crease and up front seems to be the most wide open judging on how many players remain.
The Cents will come in to PG with a much clearer picture of who is going to be on the opening day roster that should lead to them being more competitive as a result. They will definitely have their hands full with a battle-hardened Spruce Kings squad that will be getting their first taste of exhibition action after going all the way to the National Championship Final last year.
Head Coach and General Manager Barry Wolff says that he was happy with how the team played on the weekend.
"It wasn't really about the result, it was about seeing the team compete on the ice, and I believe they did that."
Tonight he expects a little more from the lineup.
"We are playing a good team, but the focus will be on us. What are we doing well, what can we do more, how do we take the next step."
The Cents will look to take the next step against the Spruce Kings and earn their first preseason victory tonight.
7pm puck drop from the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena. The game will be available on Hockeytv.com.
A reminder to sign up for the Cents online weekly 50-50. Draw goes today at 3pm. Enter here: https://centsweekly5050.thelottofactory.com/