Merritt Centennials
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The Centennials are off to Chilliwack this morning to begin the BCHL Showcase. The showcase is an opportunity for the players to impress the scouts, but two points are still on the line.

Despite being new to the Cents Olsen Werenka is well aware of the importance of this week’s pair of rivalry games.

“Even at Chapel the other day the Chaplin was talking about how we face the old coach. Then Trail being pretty successful this year so far, and of course, last year in the playoffs beating the Centennials out. There’s been some talk around the room, for me it’s all-new but there’s been quite a bit of talk,” said Olson.

Olson fully admitted to being a bit of a ‘hothead’ in seasons past, getting into fights and receiving a couple of suspensions, a reputation he’s hoping to shed in Merritt.

“Looking to get a scholarship, I don’t think it’s (fighting) as much of a part of the game anymore, but you have to protect your teammates,” said Olson. “I think the officials do know who I am. So, it’s tough to get the reputation out, obviously last year a couple of fights, a couple of suspensions. Trying to get myself back in the good books with them again.”

Last weekend the Cents picked up a massive 2-1 OT win over Wenatchee, but it wasn’t the two points that mattered, it was the shift in the attitude and feeling around the club, which could pay dividends moving forward.

“I think we’re going in the right way. In practice, we’re working continuously two-hours a day on systems, and he has us working hard, every practice, every day. I think we’re coming a long way, we’re getting on the right track here,” said Olson.

While the entire 60-minute effort may be the actual turning point of the season for the Cents, it was a moment before OT that may serve as the symbolic one. With the game tied at 1-1, Brophy Dunne went back to minor hockey with a ‘Cents on three’ chant.

“It was a spur of the moment thing, I think the boys liked it, I’m not sure. We were kind of surprised that he did it,” said Olson. “I could be a ritual now; we’re probably going to need to try it next game and see where it goes.”

Coach Barry Wolff and Derek Sweet-Coulter through a wrench into the defense lines last week, dressing seven defensemen, a move Olson was surprised by, but a move he liked.

“I think it’s nice so people can get a break, switch it up, it just gives us more options,” said Olson. “I didn’t mind it, I thought it was a good thing.”

Catch Olson and the rest of the Cents this afternoon in Chilliwack for the BCHL Showcase versus Joe Martin and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs right here on Q101. Check the time, the pregame starts at 4:15 with Jared Thomas.

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