The Merritt Centennials bumped the slump and picked up their first road win of the year against the West Kelowna Warriors by a score of 5-2.
It was a perfect road period in the first that saw the Cents jump out to the lead. Payton Matsui got the party going 5 minutes into the frame when Josh Kagan found him streaking to the net for a tap in to make it 1-0. Trevor Adams tied the game with a seeing eye shot 3 minutes later to make it 1-1, but that didn't slow the Cents offense down. Daniel Tkac and Brett Roloson connected on a near carbon copy of the first goal and Roloson ripped it top corner glove side to make it 2-1. Then it was Roloson's turn to set up Captain Rylan Van Unen a minute later with another similar play to make it 3-1. Shots after 1 were 12-11 in favor of the Cents. .
In the outset of the 2nd it was Tanner Marshall who stood tall for the Centennials making big save after big save while the boys found their feet. He held the Warriors off the score sheet, until Thomas Manty was able to find twine behind Baier after a forced turnover at the line by Josh Van Unen to make it 4-1. The shots after 24-23 in favour of the Cents.
The final frame saw the Cents do well not to play on their heels and keep pushing for more offense. Unfortunately, Matsui would take a penalty and the Warriors would capitalize with Nick Ardanaz sneaking one past the toe of Marshall from the blueline. The Cents would find the insurance marker when a backhand floater from Manty would be poked across the line by Spencer Schneider to make it 5-2. Marshall and the Cents would hang on for the victory. Final shots were 39-34 in favor of Merritt.
After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter said the Cents played with fight and compete and it led the way.
"I was really impressed by the way the team competed early on. With all that they've been through this week, it was good to get a win."
The Cents will take the winning feeling into next week against the Langley Rivermen and Penticton Vees.