Merritt Centennials
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Braydon Clark

The Merritt Centennials have announced the signing of Braydon Clark (02) from the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL.

A Langley, BC native, Clark, checking in at 5’10 and 175 pounds, got into 11 games with the Raiders where he was held off the score sheet in limited action. The right-handed shot has been playing in the BC Major Midget League for the past two years registering 10 goals, 15 points and 374 penalty minutes over 47 games.

Director of Hockey Operations John Stuart says that Clark will bring sandpaper and compete into the lineup.

“Clark is a young, right-handed D-man that is a fearless competitor, a great defender and is tough as nails. He is willing to pay the price to make a play, is there for his teammates and is excited to join the team and have an opportunity.”

Clark will make his Centennials debut this weekend as the Cents take on the Spruce Kings and the Wild at home.

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The Merritt Centennials have acquired Jerzy Orchard (01) from the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.

Orchard joins the Cents once again after his first stint with the team resulted in a bus ride down to Coquitlam, but he never would dress for the game.  Orchard's WHL rights were dealt from the Kamloops Blazers to the Saskatoon Blades on the trip, and he was held out of action.

The Delisle, Saskatoon native appeared in 41 games for the Kamloops Blazers last season registering a goal and 2 assists, and also appeared in 5 playoff games where he recorded one assist. Used in primarily an energy role he also tallied an assist in 11 games with the Saskatoon Blades this season.

Director of Hockey Operations John Stuart says that Orchard is a player he's excited to add.

"Jerzy is a player I have followed for two years in Kamloops. He brings the things we want in a Centennials player: he's extremely hard working, has a high hockey IQ, and plays with a little sandpaper. He has a great attitude, has leadership qualities, and is a team first player. The team is very excited to have him."

Orchard will get his first chance to play in a Cents uniform, again, this weekend against the Spruce Kings and Wild.

 

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The Merritt Centennials were sitting in the reeds until the 3rd period, then exploded for 5 goals to come back and beat the Surrey Eagles 5-3.

Carter Woodside made his BCHL debut and early on it was a battle of the goaltenders as him and Cal Shell went toe to toe in the first period. Shots in the first were 13-9 in favour of the Cents.

The Cents continued to pour the chances on in the second, but the Eagles were the ones who would capitalize. Leading scorer Holden Katzalay sniped a pair of goals on passing plays and the Cents found themselves in a 2-0 hole heading to the third. Shots after 2 were 28-18.

The boys saved their best period for last as Josh Kagan crashed the net on a Joey Berkopec feed out of the corner and got the puck up and over Shell to make it 2-1 at the 5:41 mark. The Eagles were able to respond on a goal from Schovanek to restore the 2 goal lead, but that didn't stop the Cents from continuing to roll. On the next shift, Manty, Nameth and Marlow combined for a passing play in tight where Marlow was able to finish off the goal mouth feed to make it 3-2. Payton Matsui returned the favour and set up Jake Mclean for his first as a Merritt Centennial just over 2 minutes later to tie the game at 3. Kagan capped off the come back with a snipe short side high blocker on Shell to make it 4-3. Then he completed the hat trick by battling out of the corner and scoring into the empty cage to cement the come back win for the Centennials. Carter Woodside picked up his first BCHL win in his first BCHL start, and even tallied a point. Final shots were 39-28 Merritt.

After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter says the team has to keep working on the process and the results will continue to come.

"We keep preaching compete, going to the hard areas, playing the full 60, and the boys are starting to buy in. We saw some goals scored in tight, and guys paying the price."

The Cents look to carry the momentum into a 2 game home weekend at the NVMA on Friday and Saturday against the Spruce Kings and Wild.

 

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The Merritt Centennials (5-15-1-0) get set for a reset in game two of their island road swing against the Surrey Eagles (8-13-1-3) this afternoon. 

The Merritt Centennials found themselves down early, and weren't able to climb back into the game in a 6-3 loss against the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies had gone 2 full games without scoring a goal, but they broke that slump just over a minute into the game with Henri Schreifels beating Marshall at the 1:08 mark to give the Grizz the early edge. Cody Monds would add to the lead at the 7 minute mark of the first and that seemed to wake the Cents up from their slumber. Already outshooting the Grizzlies, the Cents poured it on with 17 shots in the first period, but were unable to solve Joe Howe who was terrific in net for the Grizzlies. In the second period, the Centennials looked to get themselves back in the game after Hunor Torzsok deflected a Talon Zakall shot in from the point. Unfortunately, the Cents gave the goal back on the very next shift and Victoria restored the 2 goal edge 3-1 for the end of 40 minutes of play. The final frame saw the Cents push at times, but not to the degree required to get back in the game. The Grizzlies would open the scoring in the period at the 6 minute mark, but this time it was the Centennials who answered on the shift after the goal with Kagan sneaking one past Howe. Victoria was able to answer back later in the frame, and Talon Zakall notched his 2nd goal in 3 nights as to bring the Cents within 2, but with the net empty the Grizzlies leading scoring Schreifels would add another to ice the game for the 6-3 final. Final shots were 39-24.

The Surrey Eagles are 2-3 in their last five, and come into the game on tail of two losses in a row with tight one goal games against Division opponents. They lost 4-3 to the Coquitlam Express on Friday, and lost a tight 2-1 game to the Langley Rivermen earlier in the week. The Eagles are a transformed team this season under Head Coach Cam Keith. They've brought in some quality players, can score if given the opportunity, and play on the olympic sized ice. If the Cents aren't ready to go off the hop, the Eagles could land with ferocity after a day of rest. 

Josh Kagan added another goal to his totals last night and continues to lead the team with 21 points. Payton Matsui and Daniel Tkac help pace the attack with 15 points, and the Cents are hoping for a boost in the ranks by adding Christian Buono who was acquired via trade into the lineup tonight. 

The Eagles boast a couple dangerous threats in their lineup with some players who are in the top 20 of BCHL scoring. Holden Katzalay is 7th league wide with 31 points, Christophe Tellier is 14th with 25 points, and Hudson Schandor isn't far behind with 24 points. 

The special teams battle sees the Eagles with the edge. Once again the PK was perfect last night for the Centennials albeit with just a couple opportunities to kill. 

Powerplay:                               Penalty Kill: 

Cents - 6.5% (17th)             Cents - 72% (16th)

Eagles - 15.9% (11th)         Eagles - 81.4% (9th)

The Cents may be looking to shake things up in net tonight to see if that changes the play in front of the goaltender. Tanner Marshall is 3-7 with a .877 SV% and a 4.55 GAA. Affiliate Carter Woodside from the Princeton Posse has looked impressive in limited action in the KIJHL. He's 3-0 with a 1.33 GAA and a .943 SV%

The Eagles have been sharing the workload in the crease this year. Thomas Scarfone has picked up more wins at 5-8-1, a .916 SV%, and a 2.85 GAA. Cal Shell is 3-5 with an .897 SV% and a 3.64 GAA. 

Head Coach Derek Sweet Coulter says the Cents need to be willing to pay the price for victory.

"We were trying to get too much from the outside tonight. We need to go to the front of the net, take some shots, pay the price, be good team mates and then we will start seeing results."

The Cents will look to pay full admission for the win against the Surrey Eagles.

Puck drop 4pm from the South Surrey Arena. Pre-Game 3:45 on Q101 and HockeyTV with Jared Thomas. 

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The Merritt Centennials found themselves down early, and weren't able to climb back into the game in a 6-3 loss against the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies had gone 2 full games without scoring a goal, but they broke that slump just over a minute into the game with Henri Schreifels beating Marshall at the 1:08 mark to give the Grizz the early edge. Cody Monds would add to the lead at the 7 minute mark of the first and that seemed to wake the Cents up from their slumber. Already outshooting the Grizzlies, the Cents poured it on with 17 shots in the first period, but were unable to solve Joe Howe who was terrific in net for the Grizzlies. Shots after 1 were 17-8.

In the second period, the Centennials looked to get themselves back in the game after Hunor Torzsok deflected a Talon Zakall shot in from the point. Unfortunately, the Cents gave the goal back on the very next shift and Victoria restored the 2 goal edge 3-1 for the end of 40 minutes of play. Shots after 2 were 28-16.

The final frame saw the Cents push at times, but not to the degree required to get back in the game. The Grizzlies would open the scoring in the period at the 6 minute mark, but this time it was the Centennials who answered on the shift after the goal with Kagan sneaking one past Howe. Victoria was able to answer back later in the frame, and Talon Zakall notched his 2nd goal in 3 nights as to bring the Cents within 2, but with the net empty the Grizzlies leading scoring Schreifels would add another to ice the game for the 6-3 final. Final shots were 39-24. Tanner Marshall allowed 5 goals on 19 shots.

After the game, Derek Sweet Coulter said the Cents need to be willing to go to the dirty areas.

"We were trying to get too much from the outside tonight. We need to go to the front of the net, take some shots, pay the price, be good team mates and then we will start seeing results."

The Cents will look for a better result tomorrow against the Surrey Eagles. Puck drop 4pm.

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