Merritt Centennials
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The Merritt Centennials announced today that they've acquired defenseman Doug Scott (00) from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for future considerations.

Scott, a native of North Vancouver, is a BCHL veteran with 117 games under his belt split between the Coquitlam Express, Cowichan Valley Capitals, and the Vernon Vipers. He spent last season with the Capitals where he played 54 games while scoring 4 goals and 8 assists. He also added 4 more points in 12 games during the Capitals run to the 2nd round of the playoffs. This season he's played with the Vipers where he's gotten into 6 games and has netted one goal.

Head Coach and General Manager Barry Wolff says that Scott is the stay at home defender type.

"First off, Doug is a great kid and team mate, but he also brings a solid defensive game to the table. He competes hard and he doesn't like to lose."

Fans will get their first chance to see Scott tomorrow night as he battles his former club the Vernon Vipers at the NVMA at 7pm.

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The Merritt Centennials had another great effort in front of their home fans in the Nicola Valley, but were unable to halt the Nanaimo Clippers who persevered 4-3.

The first period saw the Centennials start out with a bang as it was Payton Matsui who banged home a bounce in front to make it 1-0 just 50 seconds into play. However, shortly after the goal, the Cents sent the top powerplay in the league to their first advantage and Josh Bourne was able to convert to tie the game. The Cents were able to regain the lead when Josh Kagan found another loose puck to the side of the net to make it 2-1. Thomas Manty set up both first period goals as Tanner Marshall made the start for the Cents. Shots after 1 period of play were 10-9 in favour of the Cents.

The middle frame saw the shoe on the other foot as the Clippers were able to score before the two minute mark when Ethan Scardina found a rebound and poked it past Marshall to tie the game 2-2. Shortly after a parade to the penalty box began. The Cents got not one but two two-man advantages of over a minute a piece and could not convert. The powerplay remains an issue and has gone 0 for their last 37. With all the calls going the Centennials way, the pendulum eventually swung back towards the Clippers and they were able to take advantage again with Kyler Kovich scoring to give Nanaimo the 3-2 lead. The Cents started to come on towards the end of the 2nd, but couldn't find the back of the net. Shots after 2 were 23-17 in favour of the Cents.

The final stanza saw the Centennials try and get back in the game and at the 7:34 mark they were rewarded for their efforts. Troy Quinn found Josh Kagan streaking up the right wing and when he gained the line used the defender as a screen and rocketed a shot top corner blocker side on Zack Bennett to tie the game 3-3. Unfortunately, for the Cents the Clippers regained the lead just over a minute later when Mike Kennedy collected a puck and his wrister had just enough to beat Tanner Marshall through the glove. It would stand up to be the game winning goal as even with a late powerplay and late in the game the net empty the Cents couldn't find the equalizer again. The final shot tally was 41-30 in favour of the Centennials.

After the game, Derek Sweet Coulter said the team had a lot of positives to draw from, but needed to start showing some urgency heading into next week.

"We had a great first period, and showed some great resilience throughout the game. Looking back to the game last night we showed that resilience as well, but looking forward we need to show some urgency to start picking up some points."

The Cents will look to pick up those points against the Vernon Vipers on Wednesday night at the NVMA.

Energy Player of the Game: Matt Osadick

2nd Star: Josh Kagan

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The Merritt Centennials (2-8) look to snap their 3 game losing skid tonight against the visiting Nanaimo Clippers (7-3-0-1).

The Cents are coming off a late start to last nights game after bus trouble kept them stranded in Merritt until 5pm, but they eventually hit the road and made it in time to face the Vernon Vipers. The Cents were able to battle back from an early 2 goal deficit with goals from newly minted Captain Rylan Van Unen, and Thomas Manty to tie the game at 2 after 20 minutes. However, the Vipers came to play in the second period, and answered with three goals to storm out to a 5-2 lead. The 3rd period was evenly matched, but both teams were starting to show the effects of playing well into the 10 o'clock hour as they mustered only 10 shots combined on net, and the 5-2 score stood up as the final.

The Nanaimo Clippers come into this game red hot as they are winners of their last 5 straight games. Last night they made the tough road trip to Prince George and came out with the victory in the shootout 5-4. They impressed at the BCHL Showcase winning 6-2 over the Surrey Eagles and 5-1 over the Victoria Grizzlies before coming home and topping the Powell River Kings 3-0. The Cents will look to play spoiler tonight against the surging Island Division team.

Rylan Van Unen looked solid after joining Brett Roloson and Daniel Tkac on one of the most dangerous lines on the night. However, it's still Josh Kagan that leads the way offensively with 8 points, Daniel Tkac has 7, and Roloson has 6.

The Clippers are led by their Captain Ethan Scardina who is fresh off earning BCHL Player of the Week honors and sits at number 10 in league scoring with 15 points. Joshua Bourne has 10 points and Trevor LeDonne has put up 9.

The special teams battle sees the Cents looking to break their slump on the powerplay as they are 0/29 and have not scored since September 20th with the extra man. The Clippers have been a force with their special teams play over the early season.

Powerplay:                              Penalty Kill:

Cents - 10% (16th)             Cents - 72.9% (15th)

Clippers - 26.7% (1st)       Clippers - 90.9% (2nd)

In net the Centennials are waiting for someone to get hot. Ryan Winter is 1-6 with a .900 SV% and a 4.03 GAA. Tanner Marshall is looking rebound after getting pulled in his last start and is 1-2 with a .855 SV% and a 4.83 GAA.

The Clippers sport a solid goaltending tandem. Jordan Naylor is 4-1 with a .949 SV% and a 1.58 GAA.  Zachary Bennett is 2-2 with a .943 SV% and a 1.78 GAA.

Assistant Coach Derek Sweet Coulter says the Cents will have to play some tight checking defense to skate with the Clippers.

"We'll need to manage our gap in the neutral zone well. Keep skaters to the outside and away from the royal road down the middle."

The Cents will look to skate to the win tonight.

Puck Drop 7pm. Pre-Game 6:45 on Q101 and Hockey TV with Jared Thomas.

A reminder to sign up for the teams weekly online 50/50 that's now sitting at $940! Sign up here: https://centsweekly5050.thelottofactory.com/

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The Merritt Centennials and the Vernon Vipers clashed for the first time of the season and after a solid start fell by a score of 5-2.

The first period saw the Vipers strike early as a shot from the blueline, bounced back onto the stick of Keigo Hachishuka to make it 1-0 under a minute into the period. The Vipers got another goal from Matt Kowalski on an odd man rush to make it 2-0. Then the Centennials came to play spurred on by their newly minted Captain Rylan Van Unen. Set up by his younger brother Josh, Rylan came wheeling down the left wing side, beat his man with speed to the outside, and slid one low past the left pad of Palago to make it 2-1. Thomas Manty equalized late in the first with a lazer from the left-side half wall that Palaga got a huge chunk of, but the blast had enough on it to get through him and tie that game 2-2. Shots after 1 were 11-10 in favour of the Cents.

The middle frame saw the Vipers begin to pull away. Under 2 minutes in Ryan Shostak of the Vipers tallied to give the Vipers the lead. Then they got a goal from Connor Marritt and another from Shostak to make it 5-2 after 2. Shots were 30-19 Vipers after 2.

The third period saw the teams show how late it was on the night. Not a whole of pucks were directed on net in the final frame. The Cents had a couple chances, but nothing to show for it and the score after 2 would stand up to be the final. Final shots were 34-25 Vernon.

After the game Assistant Coach Derek Sweet Coulter said he liked the effort early on, but the team needs to make some minor adjustments.

"With all the complications with the bus, I really liked our effort in the first. I feel like we still need to clean up some little things defensively, and continue to learn from every game."

The Cents look to right the ship against the Nanaimo Clippers tomorrow night at the NVMA. Puck drop 7pm.

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Photo Credit: Garrett James

After a month of hockey, the Merritt Centennials have finally announced their leadership group for the 2019-20 season.

Fourth year Centennials forward Rylan Van Unen has been named Captain while the team will split assistant roles for home and away games.

All told there will be 6 assistants and they will include: 3rd year Cent Joey Berkopec, 2nd year forward Brett Roloson, 2nd year centre Payton Matsui, and newcomers Olson Werenka, Matt Osadick, and Troy Quinn.

Werenka, Roloson, and Osadick will serve as alternates when the Cents sport their Whites, while Berkopec, Matsui, and Quinn will be a part of the leadership group when the Cents wear their traditional reds.

Van Unen says that it's very special to serve as Captain for his final year.

"It's and honour to be named Captain of the Centennials and to be a part of the great history here. Some amazing people have been Captain during my time in Merritt and it's a privilege to be a part of that same group now. I look forward to leading this talented group of guys both on and off the ice."

The Centennials will debut their new leadership group on the road tonight against the Vernon Vipers before returning home to face the Nanaimo Clippers tomorrow night. Both games 7pm puckdrop.

A reminder to check out the Centennials Online 50/50 with a Jackpot sitting at $940! Enter here: https://centsweekly5050.thelottofactory.com/

 

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