Since 2017 there had been a consistent face in the Merritt Centennials' crease. Brought to Merritt in a Halloween 2017 trade with Nanaimo, Austin Roden began a battle with Cents goalie Jake Berger for the role of number one netminder.
The two goalies would share the crease throughout the rest of the season, but when playoff time came around Head Coach Joe Martin tapped Berger to be his starter in what ended up a four-game sweep at the hands of Wenatchee.
Those would be Berger’s last games in a Cents jersey as he went on to Minnesota State University.
That cleared the path for Roden to take over entering the 2018-19 season as the heir apparent number one goalie.
Roden would backstop the Cents to a 27-11-0 record with a .912 save percentage. Roden was leaned on heavily by coach Martin due to backup Vincent Duplessis being sidelined with injuries.
Roden who was named BCHL player of the week in the final week of the regular season would see his Centennials’ career end similar to Berger’s before him, bowing out in the first round of the playoffs versus Trail.
Thanks to his stellar year, he was able to grab the attention of the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he’ll begin his collegiate career this year.
Roden’s departure left Duplessis as the only goalie left in town heading into this offseason. But now as a new season appears on the horizon, Duplessis finds himself on the way to Manitoba thanks to a massive three-player trade swung earlier this week to acquire Matt Osadick.
The trade made one thing abundantly clear, new Head Coach and GM Barry Wolff isn’t afraid of pulling the trigger on a big deal, even if it means creating a massive hole on the depth chart.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, it wasn’t really a move we wanted to make, but it’s hard to find goal scorers like Osadick,” said Coach Wolff. “You always have to give up quality to get quality. It’s hard losing Duplessis, but it’s a business move and something we had to do.”
Wolff went on to mention how he believes it’s easier to find a quality goalie than a top-line scoring talent like Osadick. However, finding not only one but two goalies has certainly now jumped to the top of Wolff’s to-do list as the season nears.
“We’ll figure it out and there’s lots of time before now and camp. We’re obviously looking to find a veteran goalie for that hole. We may have that done before camp,” said Wolff.
The countdown has officially begun with zero goalies on the roster and camp opening on August 19.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
The Merritt Centennials have acquired forward Matt Osadick (’00) from the Swan Valley Stampeders in exchange for forward Frazer Dodd (’99) and goaltender Vincent Duplessis (’99).
Barry Wolff is bringing in a player he’s familiar with in Osadick, as Wolff coached him last year in the MJHL. The 18 year old from Grande Point, Manitoba was a big part of the offense in Swan Valley last season putting up 29 goals and 63 points in just 45 games which had him the 5th highest scorer in the league. He also added 18 points, and 11 goals in 17 playoff games that saw the Stampeders fall in overtime of game 7 of the MJHL final. In addition, he was also a part of Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge, winning a bronze while being held scoreless in 6 games.
The 5’10”, 180 pound forward also has a commitment to the University of Maine.
“Matthew is a top end player with lots of upside. He’s a player I know well, he’s going to slide into the top six, he’s going to work hard, and put his skill on display night in and night out.”
Dodd spent his first full season with the Cents in 2018-19, after being an Affiliate the year prior, contributing 13 points in 34 games. After an injury wiped out his first season with the Cents, Duplessis posted a record of 9-8 with a 3.21 GAA and .906 SV% last year.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
More details have been released in the trade for defenseman Olson Werenka. The move is part of a three team deal with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
In order to acquire Olson Werenka, the Cents sent d-man Jackson Munro (00) to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, and Alberni sent forward Michael Hodge (00) to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Jackson Munro played the last two seasons with the Centennials and over his time compiled 6 goals and 39 points in 97 games.
The two-way defender will be reunited with former Head Coach Joe Martin in Alberni Valley.
The Vancouver Canucks announced this morning that they have re-signed former Cents defender Josh Teves to a two-year, two-way deal.
Teves, 24, made his professional debut with Vancouver on Mar. 26, 2019 vs Anaheim. He signed an entry level contract with Vancouver on Mar. 12, 2019.
In 2018/19, Teves led all Princeton Tigers defencemen in scoring with 20 points (3-17-20) in 30 games. The 6'0", 180-pound defenceman also ranked third on the team in shots on goal (74) and power play assists (10). In 2017/18, Teves finished the season with 33 points (7-26-33) in 31 games, which led all NCAA blueliners in points per game (1.06) and assists per game (0.79). In four seasons at Princeton (2015-2019), Teves registered 85 points (16-69-85) in 126 games.
Prior to his collegiate career, the Calgary, Alberta native played one season for the Centennials, registering 33 points (5-28-33) in 57 games.
The Merritt Centennials will have a good barometer for their pre-season as they've announced their exhibition dates.
The Cents will play a pair of home-and-home series against two of the top teams in the league to test out their team during the pre-season.
The Cents will play the Penticton Vees on back to back nights - first in Penticton on August 23rd, then in Merritt on August 24th. They'll follow that up with a series against the defending champion Prince George Spruce Kings - a game in PG on August 27th and a return to Merritt to finish the pre-season on August 30th.
All start times are 7pm.