Merritt Centennials
Q101 is the Home of the Cents!

atCHI-645.jpg

The Merritt Centennials make their way back to the Prospera Centre for the first time since the BCHL Showcase to take on the Chilliwack Chiefs for the final time this season. 

These two teams last met way back on October 18th and it was the Chiefs who pulled away with a 4-2 victory despite early goals from Mathieu Gosselin and Jack Vincent. Kaden Pickering had two goals for the Chiefs, and Skyler Brind'Amour and Jordan Roy added the others for the Chiefs. 

A lot has changed since then personnel wise and team mentality wise, but both teams are starting to rebound in February with 3-3 records. The Cents have won 2 in a row and look to make it an official streak with a third win tonight, but the Chiefs are already on a 3 game bounce back after dropping 4 in a row to finish January and into February. Both teams are also still playing for playoff positioning, the Cents only trail Salmon Arm by 3 points, and a win tonight paired with a Grizzlies loss would bring them within one and make the matchup tomorrow mean all the more. The Chiefs are currently in a 3-way tie for 2nd in the Mainland Division, and with Prince George sitting clear in 1st place, teams are trying to avoid finishing as the 4th seed and being forced to travel all the way to PG for round one of the playoffs. 

The focus tonight will be a matchup that on paper is very close. Merritt holds the edge in the goals for and against over the season, but the Chiefs do have some offensive weapons including: Captain Will Calverley with 43 points, Tommy Lee with 38, Corey Andonovski with 36, and defenseman Brian Allbee with 30. When you hold the top Cents up in comparison it's much the same: Henry Cleghorn back in the offense with 45 points, Nick Wicks with 39, Zach's Zorn and Court with 37, and D-man Tyrell Buckley with 33. Once again, the edge on paper atleast goes to the Cents. 

On special teams, Merritt holds the edge on the powerplay, 8th in the league with 19% while Chilliwack is 12th with a 16.9% conversion rate. The Chiefs have the edge on the penalty kill where they sit third at 85.3%, while the Cents are 7th at 82.8%. 

In net, the Chiefs have split duties between Mathieu Caron and Daniel Chenard, but the rookie Caron has been the one picking up the wins - 17-9-0-1 with an 89.3 SV% and a 2.71 GAA. Chenard is 8-15-0-2 with an 8-15-0-2 record, an 89.5 SV%, a 3.04 GAA, and 2 shutouts. Austin Roden has gotten the call for the last 3 games straight and has played great now 10-10-0-2 with a 92.7 SV%, a 2.53 GAA, and 2 shutouts. Jacob Berger should be poised to return to the crease on the weekend with a 12-21-2-0 record, a 90.6 SV%, a 3.41 GAA, and 2 shutouts. 

The matchup may look even on paper, and that's why they play the games. 

Puck Drop at 7pm from the Prospera Centre, Pre-Game at 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or online at q101.ca. 

 

Pin It

mike faulkner.jpg

Hobart College is happy they got a committment from Mike Faulkner last season as he's been named Rookie Of The Year for the whole New England Hockey Conference. 

Faulkner has 4 goals and 11 assists through 21 games this season for the Statesmen, and has helped them become the second place team in the conference with a record of 15-5-5. 

As a Centennial, he suited up for 103 regular season contests recording 63 points, and in 11 post season games last season had 1 goal and 6 assists. 

 

Pin It

GAME-OVER---Langley.jpg

The Merritt Centennials got the lead in the first, added three in the second, and guided the game home in the third to win 4-1 over the Langley Rivermen on Valentine's Day. 

The Cents converted on their first powerplay of the game at the 16:25 mark of the first period. Zach Risteau found Tyrell Buckley at the line, and he made a quick give and go with Nick Wicks on the opposite side before blasting a one timer top corner glove side on Chad Cromar to make it 1-0. That would be the lone scoring of the first period. 

The Cents came to life in the second, powered by a line that was playing together for their first game. Christian Sabin was making room for his linemates, and Brad Cocca took advantage throwing a feed from behind the net out front to Henry Cleghorn who put it over the blocker of a sprawled out Cromar. The Rivermen goalie seemed completely baffled, and guessed wrong on the pass, Cleghorn snapped a lengthy pointless streak with his 20th on the season to make it 2-0. 

Christian Sabin scored on the very next shift, picking off a D-to-D pass in front of the net, before dangling in and outwaiting Cromar to put it past his outstretched leg to make it 3-0. 

Cromar appeared to strain his groin making a diving toe save halfway through the second period and gave way to Braedon Fleming who came off the bench. 

That didn't slow down the Cents as they made it 4-0 when Brendan Schneider drove wide, and then found Zach Court in the slot who fired one blocker side on Flemming. 

The Cents carried that scoreline into the third, but couldn't add any offense. The Rivermen added a goal from Jayden Lee to break Austin Roden's shutout bid in his third straight start. 

Merritt did get their second straight win by a 4-1 score, and after the game Head Coach Joe Martin liked the new look line. 

"I thought Sabin had his strongest game this year. Tough for a guy that's in and out of the line up, but he had an easy job making room for Cocca and Cleghorn, and he did that. The line had success and he scored a goal."

Cents now look for their third straight win against the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday night. 7pm puckdrop from the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. 

Pin It

kero.jpg

Devin Kero, now a senior for Michigan Tech, has earned WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors after a win and Winter Classic MVP this past weekend. 

He stopped 36 of 37 shots in Michigan Tech's 5-1 win over Bemidji State on Saturday. 

Kero played 40 games for the Cents back in 2013-14 posting a 2.48 GAA and a 91.8 SV%.  

It's Kero's first WCHA weekly award. 

 

Pin It

vsLAN-645.jpg

The Merritt Centennials (20-26-4-1) prepare for their busiest week of the season as the Mainland Division's Langley Rivermen (22-18-10-2) come into the NVMA for their lone contest of the year. The Cents will travel to Chilliwack on Friday, then welcome Salmon Arm on Saturday, and Victoria on Sunday to make it 4 games in 5 days. 

The Cents will be looking to ride the high of a win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on the weekend. Despite it being the lone win on the road trip, there were a lot of good stories throughout the game when you consider it was Family Day long weekend. Island Natives Mattias Dal Monte and Austin Roden played a prominent role in the final game of the weekend. The team fueled up with a beautiful pre-game meal prepared at the Dal Monte household: pancakes, waffles, fruit, sausages, bacon, whipped cream, OJ and coffee. That gave the Cents some hunger to go after two points later on that afternoon. 

Halfway through the second period with score 2-0 off powerplay goals from Tyrell Buckley and Mathieu Gosselin, Mattias Dal Monte found a deflection at the line and let it rip for his first goal in the BCHL in front of his mom, dad, and his grandparents that flew down from Kittimat to see him play. 
 
Birthday boy Jackson Munro tallied the primary assist on an Ashton Stockie goal on the following shift in front of his mother who made the trip to the island to follow the team. With the score 4-0 into the final period, that left Austin Roden as the Centennial with something to play for. The Cents didn't add any more tallies to the scoreboard, but didn't allow any either, and Roden got his second shutout of the season in front of his parents, and grandparents.
 
The visiting Rivermen are coming off their first win in 5 tries, a 7-6 barn burner against the Surrey Eagles, so you know they're capable of offense. They're also capable of going to the box, with 832 penalty minutes they're the second most penalized team in the league behind the Capitals. The Cents are in the middle of the pack at 7th with 713 PIMS through the year. The Cents also have the edge in the goals-for department with a 160 goals on the year, that's 7 more than the Rivermen. 
 
The Rivermen are known to explode for offense, but in games against the Interior in 2018 they've gone winless. However, these two teams have met once this season, way back at the BCHL showcase. With the Cents still trying to find their identity they fell 4-3. All their goals were scored in the second period, to lead 3-2 into the 3rd, but the Rivermen answered with two in the final frame including the game-winner which came shorthanded with 3 minutes to go. 
 
Langley is led offensively by Brendan Budy with 46 points, and their other offenseive weapons are: Angus Crookshank (38), Joe Wojeichowski (28) and Eric Butte (28). The Cents are still led by Henry Cleghorn with 44 points, but he's on a bit of dry spell over the last couple weeks. Nick Wicks with 38 points has moved into 2nd in team scoring, and Zach Court is another hot hand in 4th with 35 points. The Cents now have 6 players with over 30 points, and 18 that have chipped in at least 10. 
 
The special teams battle sees the Cents with the edge on both counts. 8th on the powerplay with 18.9% which has been improving in the last few games, and the penalty kill has gotten lots of work and the Cents sit 7th with an 82.6% kill rate. The Rivermen 15th on the powerplay with a 15.2% conversion rate, but in their last game they went 5/7 so they're hot. On the PK, the Rivermen 9th at 81.8%. 
 
In net, the Cents will likely use both goaltenders equally over the next week. Jacob Berger is more rested and is 12-21-2-0 with a 90.6 SV%, a 3.41 GAA, and 2 shutouts. Austin Roden is coming off his 2nd shutout of the year, and is 9-10-0-2 with a 92.6 SV% and a 2.59 GAA. The Rivermen lean on Braedon Fleming who is the 2nd busiest goaltender with over 2400 minutes played, and is 18-22-0-1 with a 90.1 SV% and a 2.93 GAA. Chad Cromar is 4-6-0-1 with a 88.6 SV% and a 3.56 GAA. 
 
The Cents will look to set the tone for the week with a strong effort against the Rivermen tonight. 
 
Puck Drop 7pm, Pre-Game 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101.1FM or online at q101.ca. 

 

Pin It