(Photo credit – Garrett James)
It’s been a busy week in Cents land with Head Coach and GM Barry Wolff swinging a pair of trades. First acquiring goalie Tanner Marshall from the reigning Junior A champion Brooks Bandits, then trading backup tender Dylan Kosik Fort Frances.
As we enter the third weekend of the regular season, the Merritt Centennials are still searching for that first W.
Merritt will play its first road game on Saturday in Wenatchee, but before that the West Kelowna Warriors are at the NVMA this evening.
This week the longest-tenured Centennial, Rylan Van Unen, stopped by Q101 for five good minutes.
Despite the 0-3 record, there are still plenty of positives to be taken from the first two weeks of the season.
“We’re in the right spots, we’re getting stuff done, we’re getting scoring chances, they’re just not going in right now,” said Rylan.
That being said, there’s always room for improvement.
“Being better in our defensive-end, making the right decisions. We’re on our way to doing the right stuff, we’re just one step behind right now,” said Rylan.
With only eight returning players this season, the Cents have been forced to completely turn over their roster. A new team means building new relationships and creating chemistry with players on and off the ice.
“The room has been really good. All the new guys that have come in have meshed in really well with everyone. Everyone gets along, there are not any guys bickering at each other,” said Rylan.
The newest guy joining the locker room is Marshall, and Rylan gave us a little scouting report of the new tender.
“He’s a nice guy, he’s doing really well in the net too,” said Rylan. “I don’t know much about goalies, but he looks like he’s really good positionally. (I’d shoot) maybe blocker side, he looks like he has got a good glove.”
Every Barry Wolff practice has a similar trait, players must complete 20 push-ups and 40 sit-ups during their stretches.
“We’ve been doing a lot of flow stuff this week. Getting into the habit of passing while we’re moving, and skating lots. But like every other week, hard work comes first in practice,” said Rylan.
Last year it was Mike and Rylan playing together, Mike has gone of the NCAA and in his place has come younger brother, Josh, for the Van Unen’s Cents hockey is a family affair.
“It’s really nice, you know you have somebody you can hang out with, or whatever you need. It’s good to have someone around,” said Rylan.
Catch Rylan and the rest of the Cents tonight at the NVMA vs West K, puck drop 7 pm.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt