The Merritt Centennials were able to pull the game into a tie in the final frame, but the Wild were able to come up with 3 unanswered goals in the third to make it a 5-2 final.
The first period saw the Cents come out flying despite the bus legs and ran play for the majority of the period. A couple chances went off the side of the net with daylight behind Noah Altman that the Cents just weren’t quite able to cash in. Then late in the frame it was the Wild who capitalized against the grain with leading scorer Nick Cafarelli driving wide on a wrap around and banking it in off of Brophy Dunne to make it 1-0. Shots after 1 were 13 a side.
Despite running play for nearly the full 20 in the first, the Cents were flat footed to start the second and Drake Usher was able to capitalize. After a turnover at center, he skated the puck right up the middle and was untouched until he reached the hashmarks and ripped a shot over Marshall to make it 2-0. Josh Kagan was able to answer last in the frame for Merritt on a partial breakaway where he fired a shot between the legs of Altman to make it 2-1. Shots after 2 were 28-26 Wild.
After surviving the minute to win it madness in Wenatchee, the Cents were able to find the back of the net. A feed from Josh Kagan to the slot was poked in one-handed by Brett Roloson through the legs of Altman to tie the game at 2’s. Unfortunately for the Cents, they took their foot off the petal after that point and the Wild were able to get back in the game. Once again it was Nick Cafarelli who drove wide and then found Harrison Scott wide open to the slot, and he was able to beat Marshall up high. Then just over a minute later Captain Brian Adams banged home a goal mouth scramble. Hunter Hastings then took the game out of reach with a goal at the 12:30 mark and the Cents weren’t able to battle back only throwing 4 shots on net in the final frame. Final shots were 45 to 30 Wild.
The Cents look to reset for game 2 of the double header tomorrow night. Same time, same place. 7pm puck drop from the Town Toyota Center.