Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekly Review, Cents Alumni cont'd:

I know I'm getting to sound a bit like a broken record, but again I apologize for taking so long to post on the blog.

The Cents are riding their first three game winning streak in three seasons and have also vaulted into fifth place in the BCHL's Interior Conference after a win a week ago from Sunday against Prince George. Tomorrow's game against Trail is another huge one as the Cents can put more distance between themselves and the Smoke Eaters, Quesnel and the Spruce Kings with win. For the Week in Review this week, I talked to Centennials head coach and GM Luke Pierce about returning from the Christmas break, the game tomorrow in Trail and preliminary discussions about the January 10th carding deadline.

Cents Coach and GM Luke Pierce

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

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From just a quick glance, I know of a number of Centennials players I missed on the last alumni update. So I'll try to fill those gaps here.

D Jarret Costello - Arizona State University (ACHA)
F Kevin Lessard - SAIT Trojans (ACAC)
F Graham Fast - Neepawa Natives (MJHL)
F Mike Hanes - Kamloops Storm (KIJHL)
F Brian Kang - Concordia College (NCAA)
F Scott Kirkham - Neepawa Natives (MJHL)
F Kyle L'Arrivee - Mount Royal University (ACAC)
D Ryan Moir - Calgary Canucks (AJHL)
D Blake O'Connor - Geneseo Knights (NCAA)
F Nick Sciangula - Concordia University Stingers (CIS)
D Brett Short - York University (CIS)
G Brad Thiessen - Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
F Brandon Wong - Quinnipiac Bobcats (NCAA)
F Jordan Zalba - Neumann University (NCAA)

I also had the chance to chat with former Cents tough guy Tyler Barr to get an update on his season with Pensacola of the SPHL. I should be able to have that posted in the next day or two.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ex-Cents featured in THN, Cents Alumni Update:

I have to really apologize for the lack of updates lately. With Christmas Day just a week away, things are CRAZY at the radio station right now. Since I last posted, the Cents posted their first road win of the season 3-2 last Friday in Trail, lost 4-0 at home to Victoria on Tuesday and waxed Salmon Arm 8-4 tonight. Check out the Cents website for a recap of each game.

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(Former Centennials sniper Brandon Wong, now with the Quinnipiac Bobcats)

Two ex-Centennials are mentioned in The Hockey News this week, with Eddy Beers included in an article on page 12 called "Snapshots From Around the NHL" and Brandon Wong featured in an article on page 45 called "U.S. College Prospects Unlimited". Wong is highlighted in the focus on ECAC Hockey.

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(Former Centennials captain Casey Pierro-Zabotel, now with Wheeling of the ECHL)

One other reason why I haven't had the chance to post recently is because I've been working on a MAJOR alumni update to let you know what some former Centennials players have been up to since their time in Merritt. So here goes...

G Spencer Bacon - New England Huskies (EJHL)
G Norbert Biszczak - North Delta Devils (PIJHL)
G Cameron Dagg - Columbia Valley Rockies (KIJHL)
D Jake Baker - Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
F Gary Rai - Kamloops Storm (KIJHL)
D Casey Rogers - Golden Rockets (KIJHL)
D Brad Bourke - Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)
G Graeme Gordon - Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
G Harrison May - Burnaby Express (BCHL)
G Kyle Nielsen - Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)
D Evan Burgess - Fernie Ghostriders (KIJHL)
D Casey Fratkin - Drumheller Dragons (AJHL)
D Curtis Gedig - Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
D Codie Kightley - Portage Voyageurs (ACAC)
D Mike McCance - Kamloops Storm (KIJHL)
D Shane Oatway - Drayton Valley Thunder (AJHL)
D Lee Stone - Arizona State Sun Devils (ACHA)
D Zach Traverse - Fernie Ghostriders (KIJHL)
F Cody Abbey - Revelstoke Grizzlies (KIJHL)
F Jason Alessio - Kamloops Storm (KIJHL)
F Ryan Aynsley - Castlegar Rebels (KIJHL)
F Tyler Barr - Pensacola Ice Flyers (SPHL)
F Spencer Brooks - Portage Voyageurs (ACAC)
F Paul Forster - University of Ottawa Gee Gees (CIS)
F Alex Goodship - Dartmouth College (NCAA)
F David Gore - Thompson Rivers University (BCIHL)
F Jordan Grant - Powell River Kings (BCHL)
F Dylan Herold - Burnaby Express (BCHL)
F Thierry Martine - Kimberley Dynamiters (KIJHL)
F Sean Menton - Oceanside Generals (VIJHL)
F Michael Nardi - North Delta Devils (PIJHL)
F Jose Reyes - Thompson Rivers University (BCIHL)
F Ryan Stanimir - Williams Lake Timberwolves (BCHL)
D Josh Caron - Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
D Rylan Stanyer - Quesnel Millionaires (BCHL)
D Jordan Wilkins - Kamloops Storm (KIJHL)
F Devin Gannon - Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL)
F Chad Gehon - University of Alaska Nanooks (CCHA)
F Tyler Halliday - Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
F Jordon Harrison - Mount Royal University Cougars (ACAC)
F H.T. Lenz - Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
F Patrick Rogan - Arizona State Sun Devils (ACHA)
F Jassi Sangha - Thompson Rivers University (BCIHL)
F Jeremy Wagner - Hannover Indians (Germany 2)
D Stephen Margeson - Mississippi River Kings (CHL)
D Steve Weidlich - Mississippi Surge (SPHL)
F Mike Ouellette - MedveŇ°cak Zagreb (Austria)
D Mike Salekin - Victoria Salmon Kings (ECHL)
D Scott Ford - Milwaukee Admirals (AHL)
F Bryan Leitch - Alaska Aces (ECHL)
F Blair Riley - Ferris State University (NCAA)
F Steve Cameron - Mercyhurst College (NCAA)
D Dave Simoes - Mississippi River Kings (CHL)
D Jared Tuton - University of Alaska-Anchorage (NCAA)
F Casey Pierro-Zabotel - Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
D Alan Mazur - R.I.T. (NCAA)
F Jesse Fratkin - Brown University (NCAA)
F Wade Macleod - Northeastern University (NCAA)
D Cody Butcher - University of Alaska-Fairbanks (NCAA)
F Jacob Verheyden - Quesnel Millionaires (BCHL)
D Paul Levarsky - Surrey Eagles (BCHL)

By all means, feel free to point out any omissions I may have. If possible, please supply a link to where a Cents alumnus is playing or their season stats.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cents fall to Vipers, Holowenko makes WHL debut, Former Cents defenceman Wilkins to KIJHL:

I didn't get to see the game in Vernon, but did listen to it on the radio and it really seems like the Cents didn't play a 60 minute effort again. They were tight with the Vipers through 40 minutes, but the Snakes blew things open in the third period with four goals.

Here's the recap from Tuesday's 7-1 loss in Vernon on Merritt Centennials.com:

Vernon, BC - December 8, 2009

Bryce Kakoske and Connor Jones each had a goal and two assists while Cole Ikkala scored twice for Vernon as the Vipers beat the Merritt Centennials 7-1 in BC Hockey League play Tuesday night.

Mike Collins and Braden Pimm each had two point nights for Vernon (30-2-0-1), while Corey Kane and Adam Thompson also scored.

Dustin Johnson, with his 20th of the season, replied for Merritt (10-22-0-2). Derek Hills and Colton Sobchak got the assists.

Blake Voth made 22 saves to pick up the win for the Vipers. Keith Hamilton stopped 15 shots to take the loss for the Centennials. He was replaced at the 3:02 mark of the third period by affiliate netminder Riley Wall, who allowed two goals on seven Vernon shots.

Merritt went 0-for-4 with the man advantage while Vernon was 1-for-1 on their power play.

The Centennials continue a stretch of five straight road games Friday in Trail while the Vipers are back on home ice Friday for a game against Salmon Arm.

News & Notes: The Cents have surrendered seven goals or more in 14 of 34 games this season...Derek Hills first period assist extended his point streak to six games (3g, 9a)...Alex Valenti was scratched with an undisclosed lower body injury...Ryne Bodger remains at home in Duncan due to illness...Cole Holowenko missed his second straight game as he's still with the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins...The Cents remain winless on the road, with a 0-15-0-2 record.
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Cents goaltender Cole Holowenko made his WHL regular season debut last night in Chilliwack's 5-0 loss to Vancouver. Holowenko played the third period and faced just one shot. He didn't make the save and gave up a goal to Giants forward (and former BCHLer) Gary Nunn. There's still no word on when (or if) Holowenko will return to Merritt, but word is that Lucas Gore is no closer to returning to the lineup from a shoulder injury.
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(Former Cents defenceman Jordan Wilkins)

Former Cents defenceman Jordan Wilkins (90) has joined the KIJHL's Kamloops Storm for the remainder of the season. Wilkins played 15 games with the Centennials during the 2007-08 season after being signed from the WHL's Kootenay Ice. He was traded in August 2008 to Penticton for future considerations. Wilkins, who's from Kelowna, spent last season with St. Albert of the AJHL and Surrey of the BCHL. Word is that the Storm have been trying on and off to get him to join their program for the last four years. Wilkins has also played 59 games in the WHL. He's currently enrolled at TRU and will make his KIJHL debut tomorrow in Princeton.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cents fall 6-5 in double OT to, Hills almost POW, Holowenko to WHL, Minor Hockey:

Wow. Another tough loss for the Cents after battling back to tie the game. Comebacks seem to be the name of the game for Merritt on the road, but in the last four games the Centennials have just come up short. Their three game Northern road trip culminated with a 6-5 loss in double overtime to Prince George yesterday afternoon.

Here's the recap from Merritt Centennials.com:

Prince George, BC - December 6, 2009

Justin Fillion scored 2:12 into double overtime to give the Prince George Spruce Kings a 6-5 edge over the Merritt Centennials in BC Hockey League Sunday afternoon.

Marcus Watson scored a goal and added three assists, Sam Muchalla had two goals and an assist while Brooks Robinson notched a goal and two assists for Prince George (12-19-1-2). Nick DeSousa also added a single in regulation for the Spruce Kings.

Derek Hills had a goal and three assists for Merritt (10-21-0-2), while Colton Sobchak scored twice and added an assist in the loss. Stephen Wall also had a goal and two assists for the Centennials. Jordan Soquila scored on a penalty shot in the second period and Mitch Jones notched two assists.

Former Centennials netminder Kyle Nielsen made 27 saves for Prince George in the win, while Keith Hamilton kicked out 47 saves for Merritt in the loss. The Spruce Kings outshot the Cents 5-3.

Merritt and PG each went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

The Centennials next game is Tuesday in Vernon while the Spruce Kings return to the ice Friday at home against Alberni Valley.

News & Notes: The Cents are now winless in 16 games away from the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena this season...Derek Hills' four-point afternoon has him riding a five game point streak. He has 11 points during the streak...Stephen Wall's three-point afternoon was his first multi-point game since Sept. 29...Cents captain Jordan Soquila is on a six game streak, he has nine points in that stretch...Merritt was without 16-year-old Cole Holowenko after he was called up by the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins.
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(Cents utilityman Derek Hills)

Cents defenceman Derek Hills, who's played up front and on the blueline this season, was named a runner up for BCHL Player of the Week after posting eight points in three games. As mentioned above, Hills is on fire lately, firing 11 points during a five game point streak. You have to wonder if the Cents would have posted three wins during the three games if we'd be talking about Hills being Player of the Week for the second time this season, instead of Mark Zengerle.
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(Cents netminder Cole Holowenko)

Had the chance to see Cents goaltener Cole Holowenko on Rogers Sportsnet yesterday as he backed up Braden Gamble in the Chilliwack Bruins 4-0 WHL shutout of the Vancouver Giants. Holowenko was called up by the Bruins after Saturday's Cents game in Quesnel. With Bruins number-one goaltender Lucas Gore out with a shoulder injury, it remains to be seen if Holowenko will stay in Chilliwack or if he'll be on his way back to Merritt. I hope to ask Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce that exact question when I get his weekly wrap first thing tomorrow morning.
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I received this email late yesterday from Tammy Bangsund, PR director for Merritt Minor Hockey. Way to go boys! You'll notice a couple of familiar names here as some of these guys were in training camp with the Cents.

The Tracker Sportswear Midget Rep boys played 2 games this weekend, winning both!

Saturday Dec 5th travelled to Revelstoke and won 9-2. Scorers were: Daylan Robertson 3, Eric Schmidt 2, Kyle Robichaud, Payton Schaefer, Cole Fex & Garret Bangsund all with 1 goal each. Russell Sanderson did an outstanding job between the pipes!

Sunday Dec 6th vs Westside at NVM Arena winning 8-1! Michael DeSimone did an awesome job of netminding. Scorers were: Eric Schmidt 4, Brendan Colter 2, Liam Ouellette & Cole Drennan with 1 each.

Next up for the Tracker Boys is a 3 day tourney in Williams Lake Dec 11-13th. Current league stats for the team are 8 wins, 1 tie & 2 loses.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cents outgunned 8-7 in Quesnel:

Another heartbreaking one goal loss for the Cents on the road as they fell 8-7 in Quesnel. The silver lining to the dark cloud that is a 15 game road winless streak, is that the Centennials outscored the Millionaires 6-3 over the final 40 minutes. If not for a shaky first period, the result in this game could have been much different.

Here's the recap of the game from Merritt Centennials.com:

Quesnel, BC - December 5, 2009

Joshua Desmarais scored twice as the Quesnel Millionaires hung on the beat the Merritt Centennials 8-7 in BC Hockey League action Saturday night.

Taylor Holst had three assists for Quesnel (11-19-0-4), while Trever Hertz and Clayton Chessa each had a goal and two assists. Jacob Verheyden, Spencer Graboski, Skyler Smutek and Eliot Raibl also each notched a single marker in the win.

Jeff Jones scored twice for Merritt (10-21-0-1) and chipped in with two assists. Dustin Johnson had a goal and two assists while Derek Hills and David Sabey each had a goal and an assist. Jordan Soquila and Alexander MacMillan dished out two assists each. Colton Sobchak and Alex Valenti had the other Cents goals.

Kirby Halcrow stopped 27 shots for the Millionaires for the win, while Keith Hamilton, who came on in relief of Cole Holowenko at the start of the second period, made 19 saves in the loss.

Merritt went 2-for-5 on the power play while Quesnel was 2-for-3 with the man advantage.

The Cents next action is Sunday in Prince George while the Mills play Wednesday at home against Williams Lake.

Game Box Score

News & Notes: The Cents, despite the loss, had just seven players not appear on the scoresheet...Alex Valenti returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game in Williams Lake...Mitch Jones also returned to the lineup after missing three games...Merritt battled back from 6-1, 7-2 and 8-4 deficits, but never held the lead during the game...The Cents road winless streak now stands at 15 games...The loss is Merritt's third straight one-goal defeat on the road...It was announced prior to the game that Cole Holowenko has been called up by the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins on an emergency basis...Jeff Jones is now tied for fourth among all BCHL rookies in goals with 13...Andrew Pickering is now riding a five game point streak...Daniel Chang has a three game assist streak.

Cents edged 4-3 in Williams Lake:

Here's the recap on last night's game from Merritt Centennials.com:

Williams Lake, BC - December 4, 2009

Williams Lake's Darren Tarasoff scored a pair of goals as the Timberwolves topped the Merritt Centennials 4-3 in BC Hockey League action Friday.

The loss drops the Cents to 10-20-0-1, while the T-wolves improve to 8-19-0-1.

Cameron Hoffman and Danny Merth also scored for Williams Lake.

Jeff Jones, Jordan Soquila and Derek Hills replied for Merritt. Hills also added an assist for the Cents lone multi-point performance.

Richard Virtanen stopped 35 shots to pick up the win for the Timberwolves, while Keith Hamilton made 37 saves in taking the loss for the Centennials.

Merritt finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play. Williams Lake went 3-for-7 with the man advantage.

The Centennials will try to snap their 14 game road winless streak Saturday in Quesnel. The Timberwolves are back in action Saturday on home ice against Westside.

News & Notes: Lucas Blinkhorn and Caleb Roy made their Centennials debuts as affiliate players from the KIJHL's Revelstoke Grizzlies...Blinkhorn assisted on Derek Hills' third period power play goal...Keith Hamilton made his first goaltending start in more than month after sitting out with an illness...Mitch Jones missed his third straight game with a sore wrist...Alex Valenti was scratched with an undisclosed lower body injury and is listed as day-to-day...Valenti's injury forced the Cents to play with only 10 regular forwards.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cents add AP Lucas Blinkhorn:


(Revelstoke Grizzlies captain Lucas Blinkhorn)

The Cents have added another affiliate player from the KIJHL's Revelstoke Grizzlies for the road trip this weekend in Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George. It's Grizzlies captain Lucas Blinkhorn (89).

Blinkhorn is fourth in KIJHL scoring with 16 goals and 24 assists in 27 games for Revelstoke. He spent some time with Vernon last season as an AP, but didn't get into any games with the Vipers.

I had the chance to chat with Centennials coach and GM Luke Pierce yesterday ahead of their northern road trip this weekend.

Cents Coach and GM Luke Pierce

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Former Centennial Riley Named CCHA Player of the Month:


(Former Cents forward Blair Riley)

Ferris State University men's ice hockey senior Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) has been chosen as this week's (Nov. 23) Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Offensive Player of the Week, which was released this Monday by the league office.

Riley compiled a combined team-high tying best six points in Ferris State's two-game league series sweep of Ohio State this last weekend (Nov. 20-21) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The left winger recorded his second career hat trick with three goals in last Friday's (Nov. 20) 8-1 series-opening win over Ohio State en route to a four-point (3-1=4) night. Riley then followed the notable performance up in Saturday's (Nov. 21) come-from-behind 6-5 overtime victory over the Buckeyes with a goal and an assist. His helper came on the game-tying power-play goal by Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) with 50.3 seconds remaining in regulation to send the contest into overtime.

This season, Riley has accumulated a team-leading 16 points on a squad-best 12 goals and four assists to go with a plus six efficiency rating in 14 contests. The 6-0, 220-pound forward has also totaled three power-play lamplighters, two short-handed markers, and five blocked shots this campaign. Riley has chalked up six multiple-point game efforts this season to date. Nationally, Riley is listed fourth in goals per game (0.86 gpg.) and is tied for 39th place in points per game (1.14 ppg.).

Riley has presently generated 65 points on 36 goals and 29 assists in 121 career outings. He has generated 14 power-play goals, two short-handed markers, two game-winning tallies, and 29 blocked shots during his FSU career.

Riley's league honor represents the fourth Bulldog skater to receive such recognition this season. He joins junior Zach Redmond (Traverse City), who attained CCHA Defenseman of the Week kudos (Oct. 26), along with freshman center Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) and sophomore Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.). Ouellette garnered league Rookie of the Week laurels while Wysopal achieved Defensive Player of the Week kudos the same week (Nov. 9).

Cents add AP Caleb Roy, Luke Pierce Audio:

The Cents have added defenceman Caleb Roy (89) from the KIJHL's Revelstoke Grizzlies for their northern road trip this weekend. Roy, who leads all Grizzlies defenceman in scoring with 31 points in 27 games, was an affiliate with the Vernon Vipers in 2005-06. He is second in scoring among blueliners in the KIJHL. It'll be interesting to see how much of an impact he has with the Cents. With Mitch Jones still out with an injury, I would think that Roy will play a regular shift.

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The website that I use to host all the audio I post here was having issues the other day so I wasn't able to post the interview I did with Cents head coach and GM Luke Pierce regarding the three moves the team made at the December 1st carding deadline.

Somehow the issues have been resolved, so without any further adieu, here are Luke's thoughts on the moves the Centennials did make and almost made on December 1st:

Cents Coach and GM Luke Pierce

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cents Release Joey McEwan and Kevin Philp:

The Centennials didn't make any major trades at the December 1st carding deadline, but they did move a couple of players from their roster.


(Former Cents forward Joey McEwan)

The Cents have released forward Joey McEwan (89) from their roster. The Kelowna product played in 24 games this season for Merritt, chipping in with two assists. He was also fourth in the BCHL in penalty minutes with 87. McEwan had one more game to serve in a suspension he received for hitting Alberni Valley goaltender Frank Slubowski in a 3-2 loss last week. Luke Pierce mentioned in my interview that Joey is a great kid and it was a very difficult decision to make, but I would think that being a 20-year-old enforcer doesn't offer a whole lot of job security. In fact, the Cents were Joey's second team this season, he was released by Victoria during training camp after being acquired by the Grizzlies during the summer.


(Former Cents forward Kevin Philp)

The Cents have also released forward Kevin Philp (90) from their roster. I know Kevin had questions about whether he wanted to continue his hockey career at the end of last season, but he was encouraged by the changes made at the administrative level by the Cents and decided to return to the team this season. He suffered an injury in training camp and didn't play in any exhibition games before making his season debut on opening night. He then hurt his shoulder and word was he'd be out until the new year with the injury. Ultimately, Kevin decided to hang up the skates at the BCHL level. He's got a girlfriend here in Merritt and likes the community, so he's still seen around the Cents games. The 19-year-old wraps up his BCHL career with 18 points in 43 games. He spent 41 of those games in Merritt after playing two games with Victoria last season. Philp spent the 2007-08 season with Saskatoon of the WHL after being a 7th round Bantam pick by the Blades.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Penner On The Move Again:


(Cole Penner with the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders)

The much-traveled Cole Penner is on the move again as his junior 'A' rights have been traded by the Cents to the Camrose Kodiaks of the AJHL for future considerations.

The Cents acquired Penner (91) from Grand Prairie back in September for Matt Cumming and although the former first round WHL bantam draft pick was in Merritt earlier this season, he didn't play a game with the Centennials and promptly went home to await another trade after supposedly deciding he didn't want to play in the Nicola Valley. In the meantime, his WHL rights were traded by Prince Albert to Chilliwack for a 12th round bantam draft pick in 2010.

And although he hasn't appeared with the Bruins yet, Boris Rybalka will try to convince the former highly touted prospect to join his AJHL team in Camrose.

As for the futures coming to Merritt, if I were to wager a guess, I'm thinking it's cash coming to the Centennials, but there might be a player involved. We'll have to wait until the end of the season to find out.

Cents Weekly Recap, December 1st Deadline:

New Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce indicated to me that he was interested in being a weekly guest on my Tuesday morning show, so I said "Why not?" Here's the first installment of the feature as Luke talks about the Cents wins last week over Williams Lake and Quesnel and today's 6 p.m. Hockey Canada carding deadline:

Cents Coach and GM Luke Pierce

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cents squeak by Quesnel, Merritt Bantam Reps:

What a thriller between the Cents and Quesnel on Saturday night! And what a crowd, arguably the biggest I have seen in seven years at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena saw a ton of lead changes before Jeff Zmurchyk played hero with the tying and winning goals. Here's the recap from Merritt Centennials.com:

Jeff Zmurchyk scored the tying goal with 1:32 left in the third period and the winner 3:47 into overtime as the Merritt Centennials came back to defeat the Quesnel Millionaires 7-6 in BC Hockey League action before 926 fans at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena Saturday night.

Silvan Harper and Jeff Jones scored twice each and Dustin Johnson also added a single and an assist for Merritt (10-19-0-1). Jordan Soquila chipped in with three assists while Steve Tresierra, Andrew Pickering, Daniel Chang, Alex Valenti, Stephen Wall and Kameran Crawford each also had a single assist. Cole Holowenko stopped 33 shots in net for the Centennials.

Trever Hertz notched two goals and an assist for Quesnel (10-18-0-4) while Sam Higgins, Spencer Graboski and Jacob Verheyden each had a goal and assist for the Mills in the loss. Eliot Raibl also scored for Quesnel. Netminder Kirby Halcrow stopped 45 shots.

The Centennials went 2-for-8 on the power play while the Millionaires were 2-for-9.

Merritt's next action is Friday night in Williams Lake while Quesnel's next game is also Friday. The Mills are home to Westside.

News & Notes: Silvan Harper's goal at 12:53 of the first period brought the teddy bears onto the ice and all stuffed animals will be donated to needy kids in the Nicola Valley ... Andrew Pickering's assist has him on a five game point streak ... Dustin Johnson's goal has him on a two game goal-scoring streak and seventh in the BCHL in goals ... The Cents are now 10-7 on home ice, which is fourth best in the Interior Conference.

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I received this email this morning from Shane Sanderson, the coach of the Murray GM Bantam Rep team in Merritt, who hosted a tournament this weekend:

We blew it in the final. The boy's got out worked by Penticton. We need to work on playing for full 60 minutes and we have the potential to be one of the best Bantam teams around.

The tournament was awesome our parents and coaching staff, arena staff and refs did an awesome job to promote our town and hockey. The overtime win at the Cents game was a nice bonus to the weekend. The skills competition brought a lot of comradery amongst the teams. It was nice to see.

Our first game we dominated Seattle 10-1.

We then beat Squamish 6-3.

We then beat Lagley 5-2.

We lost the final against Penticton 4-2 giving up an empty net goal.

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It was an amazing weekend in Merritt, with a bunch of different highlights for me, but one of the biggest was getting to meet the Olympic mascots! Quatchi, Sumi and Miga are the best!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cents romp over Williams Lake, Santa Claus Parade, Teddy Bear Toss:



Here's the recap of last night's 7-3 win over Williams Lake from Merritt Centennials.com:

Alexander MacMillan had three goals and Colton Sobchak added two goals and two assists as the Merritt Centennials snapped their five game losing streak with a 7-3 win over the Williams Lake Timberwolves on Thursday night in the BC Hockey League.

Dustin Johnson and Steve Tresierra, with his first as a Centennial, each added singles for Merritt (9-19-0-1) while Jeff Zmurchyk and Derek Hills chipped in with two assists each.

Trent Murdoch had a goal and an assist for the Timberwolves (6-18-1-0) while Jason Diehl and Cameron Hoffman each added singles.

Cole Holowenko made 31 saves in goal for the Cents for his fourth win of the season. Sean Donnelly stopped 37 shots in the Williams Lake goal.

Merritt was 0-for-3 on the power play. The T-Wolves went 1-for-6.

The Centennials next game is Saturday at home against Quesnel. Williams Lake visits Penticton Friday night.

News & Notes: Thursday marked the head coach and GM debut for Luke Pierce, who was promoted from his assistant coach's position on Wednesday, replacing Dylan and Tyler Forsythe ... Former Vernon Vipers assistant Maury Grant has stepped in as an assistant coach for Pierce on an interim basis ... Mitch Jones missed the game with an upper body injury, he's currently listed as week-to-week ... Joey McEwan sat out the first of his three game suspension after receiving a match penalty in Sunday's 3-2 loss in Alberni Valley.

I also had the chance to speak to Luke Pierce immediately following his first career BCHL head coaching victory last night.

Cents interim Coach and GM Luke Pierce

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

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Tonight is Merritt's annual Santa Claus Parade starting at 7 p.m. The Centennials have teamed up with the Merritt Junior Girls team for their float. The parade itself is one of the biggest nighttime Christmas parades in North America. Close to 80 floats (or more) from all over Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest have registered to be in Merritt!



Tomorrow is also the opening of Merritt's Spirit Square. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Q101 gang (minus me, I'll be on-location at Murray GM) will be at the Spirit Square for our first annual "Five Buck Bear" fundraiser. Here's how it works:

1) We sell you a stuffed animal for $5.
2) For buying a stuffed animal, we give you a ticket to the Cents game against Quesnel.
3) You take your ticket and stuffed animal to the game and throw it on the ice when the Cents score their first goal.
4) The Cents donate the toys to needy kids in the Nicola Valley.
5) We donate all the proceeds from the stuffed animals sold to the Merritt Soup Kitchen's Christmas dinner.

It's a win-win situation! Of course, if you can't make it to our fundraiser, just bring your own stuffed animals to the game and get ready to toss them!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Q&A with Luke Pierce, McEwan Suspended:

I had the chance to talk with Cents interim head coach and GM Luke Pierce this morning ahead of tonight's game at home against Williams Lake.

Although one of the youngest coaches in the BCHL, Luke was always a leader as a player and was even named captain at RMC while playing there.

It'll be interesting to see what effect this has on a Centennials team, which a number of people in this community believe has been underachieving.

Luke and I didn't touch so much on the circumstances behind his promotion, but more what impact he'll have in the new roles.

Cents interim Coach and GM Luke Pierce

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

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Cents forward Joey McEwan will sit out the first of his three game suspension tonight for receiving a match penalty in Sunday's 3-2 loss against Alberni Valley. McEwan got the gate at 19:14 of the first period for hitting Bulldogs goaltender Frank Slubowski. He'll be eligible to return for next Saturday's game in Quesnel.

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Former Cents forward Jacob Verheyden is back in BC after being acquired by Quesnel from the Winnipeg Saints of the MJHL for future considerations. Verheyden was first picked up the Saints from the Dauphin Kings before being flipped to the Mills. He's expected to play Saturday when Quesnel visits Merritt. The 20-year-old from Vancouver had 6 points in 66 games with the Cents as a 16-17-year-old during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Forsythe Brothers Out:

I've received word that head coach/assistant GM Dylan Forsythe and GM/assistant coach Tyler Forsythe are no longer with the Centennials. I don't know at this time whether the two brothers resigned or were dismissed and reportedly Luke Pierce will take over on an interim basis as head coach and GM. No word on who his assistant coaches may be. I will definitely have more on this story as it develops.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Former Cents prospect Asuchak traded in the WHL:

18-year-old forward Spencer Asuchak, who was signed by the Centennials in June of 2008, was traded yesterday in the Western Hockey League. The Tri-City Americans dealt the Kamloops product to Prince George for a 13th round pick in the 2010 bantam draft.

Asuchak has four points in 12 games this season after posting seven points in 38 games in his first WHL season last year with the Ams. In 2007-08, he had 21 points in 31 games with the Major Midget Thompson Blazers. He was scheduled to attend Centennials training camp in September 2008, but made Tri-City after attending their camp and never wound up coming to Merritt.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cents Road Trip, News & Notes:

OK, here we go again with a HUGE apology. I'm sorry I haven't been able to be as interactive on the blog as hoped. With the holiday season getting closer, you can imagine that things are getting busier at the radio station. So I appreciate you bearing with me and I appreciate your continued reading.

Now, onto the hockey... the Centennials wrapped up their road trip this afternoon in Port Alberni against the Bulldogs and although they didn't win and their road winless streak is now 13 games to start the season, there certainly appear to be some positives to take out of the effort.

Here's the recap of the game from Merritt Centennials.com:

Casey Bailey scored what would be the winning goal at 17:09 of the second period Sunday afternoon as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs extended the Merritt Centennials road winless streak to 13 games with a 3-2 win.

Mitch MacMillan and David Dziurzynski also tallied for Alberni Valley (17-8-1-2) while Frank Slubowski made 29 saves.

Jordan Soquila and Andrew Pickering had markers for Merritt (8-19-0-1), while affiliate goaltender Riley Wall stopped 43 shots to earn third star honours.

The Centennials return to action Thursday at home against Williams Lake while the Bulldogs hit the ice Friday at home against Victoria.

Thursday's game for Merritt is the first of two food bank nights, so all fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Nicola Valley & District Food Bank for families in need this holiday season.

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There are complete recaps of each game from the road trip on the Cents website so I'm not going to go into great detail here, but it seems that the Centennials players need to start believing in themselves when they don't have the fans behind them on the road. We saw flashes of that belief in Cowichan, Victoria and definitely Alberni Valley, but the Cents need to share that belief, buy into the system and play for each other each and every single shift, regardless of the score. Watch Vernon, that's exactly what they do.

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Former Cents forward Gary Rai (90), who was released by the team earlier this season and hadn't been playing anywhere, has landed with Kamloops of the KIJHL. In fact, Rai has three points (1g,2a) in two games with the Storm so far this weekend. He's got a ton of size and skill, but most will say that Rai needs to have the passion and the willingness to do anything to win for both his team and his teammates in order to be successful. It remains to be seen whether Rai plays out the season in Kamloops or if he's hoping to use the KIJHL as a stepping stone to another Junior 'A' team.

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For Centennials fans who were holding out hope that fan favourite Tyler Halliday (89) would be returning to the BCHL after being waived by Prince George of the WHL, it ain't gonna happen. Halliday is staying in the Dub after Kelowna plucked him off waivers from the Cougars. PG had too many 20-year-olds and one had to go. They decided it was Halliday and as a result the Rockets just got a bit peskier to play against. In fact, the Kamloops product already has one assist in two games so far for Kelowna. For the record, it is still Merritt which holds Halliday's Junior 'A' rights.

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I received the following Merritt Minor Hockey results via email this morning:

Tracker Sportswear MMHA Midget Rep vs Kelowna Rockets Midget Rep (1st place team in league) in Kelowna.

Friday Nov 20th-won 2-1 Cole Drennan & Tyler O'Hearn scored.
Saturday Nov 21st-lost 6-1 Eric Schmidt scored goal.

Next home games Sat Nov 28 7pm Shulus vs Penticton & Sun Nov 29 1230pm Shulus vs Summerland.


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The Bantam Rep boys beat Kelowna 5-3. Brody Tod and Dallas Grismer-Voght both got two
and Malik Miller got one. We had few penalties and the boys all played well. We are now 4-1-1 on the season.

We have our home tournament next weekend with teams from all over including
Seattle. It should be a lot of fun.

Thanks to Tammy and Shane for the results! Keep up the good work!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Merritt Bantam Reps:

I received this email this morning from Shane Sanderson, the coach of the Merritt Bantam Rep team:

The Bantam Rep Team only had one game this weekend and we beat Clearwater 12-2.

Nolan Prowel had a five goal game. Wow!
Zack Sanderson had two and Dallas Grismer-Voght also added a pair.
Bryce Dixon and Malik Miller notched singles.

Griffin Baillie got the win in goal.

Our boys have a real tough challenge next weekend when we play Kelowna. They
will be the team to beat.

Thanks guys,
Shane

Friday, November 13, 2009

Merritt vs. Langley 13-11-09:

Here's the recap of tonight's HUGE win against Langley from Merritt Centennials.com

Merritt, BC - November 13, 2009

Forward Daniel Chang scored his first career BC Hockey League goal Friday, helping the Merritt Centennials to a 4-3 overtime victory against the Langley Chiefs at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

Dustin Johnson, with two, and Jordan Soquila also scored for the Centennials (8-14-0-1).

Dennis Robertson, Brandon Thompson and Tim Daly replied for Langley (13-9-1-2).

Merritt goaltender Cole Holowenko stopped 41 shots, while Chiefs netminder Andrew Walsh turned aside 39.

The Centennials went 0-for-5 on the power play in the win while Langley was 1-for-5 with the man advantage. The Chiefs held a marginal 44-43 advantage over Merritt on the shot clock.

For the Cents, it's their first win of the season against an opponent from the Coastal Conference.

These two teams meet again Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre. It marks the first of five straight games on the road for the Centennials.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Former Centennial Salekin Signs with ECHL's Salmon Kings:


(Mike Salekin with the University of Alabama-Huntsville)

Former Cents defenceman Mike Salekin has returned to his home province after signing with the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL.

Here's the official release from the Kings:

Victoria, BC - The Victoria Salmon Kings, proud affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose, announced today that they have signed defenseman Mike Salekin for the 2009-10 season.

The Castlegar, BC native joins the Salmon Kings after playing five games this season for the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League (CHL) where he scored one goal and added 28 minutes in penalties.

The 6-0, 208 lb. defenseman spent the 2008-09 season in the ECHL split between the Reading Royals, Stockton Thunder, and Cincinnati Cyclones. Salekin began the year in Reading where he scored six points (2g-4a) in 10 games while tallying 22 minutes in penalties. Following a trade to Stockton, Salekin dressed for 12 games with the Thunder scoring two goals and accumulating 30 penalty minutes. A second trade from Stockton to Cincinnati saw the blueliner finish the season with the Cyclones scoring 19 points (5g-14a) in 33 games while serving 96 minutes in penalties. Salekin also participated in all 11 of Cincinnati's Kelly Cup Playoff games this past spring accruing no points and 31 penalty minutes.

The 24-year-old Salekin began his professional career in 2007-08 with a full season in the ECHL with Reading. In 49 games played he amassed four goals and nine assists for 13 points with 183 penalty minutes. Salekin also dressed for 11 Kelly Cup playoff games with Reading in 2007-08 registering two points (1g-1a) and 34 minutes in penalties.

For his professional career, the defenseman has scored 41 points (14g-27a) in 109 games played while accruing 359 penalty minutes.

Prior to turning professional, Salekin spent three seasons in the NCAA with the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH). In 99 career games as a Charger he scored 17 goals and assisted on 32 others for 49 points with 205 minutes in penalties. Salekin also helped lead the Chargers to a conference title in 2007 and a berth in the NCAA Championship tournament. During his time in the NCAA Salekin was named the team's best defenseman (2006-07), nominated to the All-Conference second team (2006-07), and was awarded the University's Bronze Scholar award (2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06).

Before joining the UAH Salekin spent two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03) in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCJHL) with the Merritt Centennials where he scored 79 points (31g-48a) in 104 total games with 395 penalty minutes. In his first year in Merritt, Salekin was selected as the team's rookie of the year, and was the runner-up in the BCHL's best first-year player award. The defensemen spent his second year as a Centennial's alternate captain, and led the BCHL in points per game by a defenseman.

Salekin began his junior hockey career in 2000-01 playing one game for the Western Hockey League's Kootenay Ice. The defenseman scored no goals with two penalty minutes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cents vs. Vernon 11-10-09:

I really apologize for the lack of posting lately, it hasn't been due to lack of trying, but having a 14 month old running around the house doesn't leave much time for working on the computer. Plus, I'm working on a MAJOR Cents alumni update that I hope to have posted before the end of the weekend.

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The Cents lost 6-1 to the Vipers tonight. Here's the recap from Merritt Centennials.com

Merritt, BC - November 10, 2009

Former Centennial Graeme Gordon made 28 saves for Vernon as the Vipers beat Merritt 6-1 in BC Hockey League action Tuesday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

Rob Short had two goals to lead the way for the Vipers (22-1-0-0), while Dan Nycholat and Dylan Walchuk each had two points in the win.

Cory Kane, Jonathan Milhouse and Adam Thompson also scored for Vernon.

Mitch Jones, with his first in the BCHL, had the lone goal for the Cents (7-14-0-1) and Cole Holowenko made 37 saves in defeat for Merritt.

The Cents went 0-for-3 on the power play while Vernon was 3-for-6 with the man advantage.

The Centennials next action is Friday as they close out a five game home stand in the first half of a home-and-home series against Langley. Vernon's next game is at home against the Trail Smoke Eaters.

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The Cents have added 92-born defenceman Austin Baecker (pronounced Baker) to their roster and he made his debut in a Merritt uniform tonight against the Vipers. Baecker is an 11th round bantam draft pick of the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricans and played last season with the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget League where he posted 5 goals and 14 assists and 42 PIM in 40 games.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cents add Wall, Recap vs. Vipers:

The Cents have added G Riley Wall (89) as an affiliate player for tonight's game in Penticton.

Wall has played the last two seasons in the KIJHL, one with the Chase Chiefs and one with the Sicamous Eagles. In 71 career starts, the Kamloops product has a record of 35-34 and a 3.31 GAA.

At this point, I don't know if Wall will get the start tonight or if he'll back up Cole Holowenko, who dressed last night as the back-up to Cameron Dagg. I also don't know if this means Dagg is on his way back to Columbia Valley or if he'll be dressed tonight. Either way, the Centennials face another outing where they'll have an affiliate goaltender as either the starter or the back-up as both Keith Hamilton and Holowenko recover from injury/illness.

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As for last night's game against Vernon, knowing how sick the Centennials were heading into the game (and still might be right now, they put up a very strong effort all things considered. If not for two sets of quick goals in the first period to give the Vipers a 4-0 lead, this game could have had a much closer result. The Cents and Vernon had a tied second period as each team scored just one goal and in a wild third period the goals were 5-3.

There a lot of positives for the Cents coming out of the game as they are the first team this season to score more than three goals against the Vipers in any game and also the first team to post more than 29 shots against the Vipers.

Here's the recap of the game from merrittcentennials.com

Merritt, BC - October 30, 2009

Mike Collins scored twice and added an assist as the Vernon Vipers topped the flu-ridden Merritt Centennials 10-4 in BC Hockey League action at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena Friday night.

Dylan Walchuk and Cole Ikkala scored twice, Darrin Robak, Rob Short, and Nick Amies also tallied for the Vipers (17-1-0-0).

Dustin Johnson had two goals for Merritt (6-11-0-1). Alex Valenti and Mitch Jones also added goals.

Affiliate player Cameron Dagg made 29 saves for the Centennials while Vernon netminder Blake Voth stopped 27 shots.

Merritt went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Vipers went 1-for-4. The game marked the first time this season any team has scored more than three goals on Vernon.

The Centennials return to the ice for a Halloween match-up Saturday night in Penticton while the Vipers are off until they head to Salmon Arm on Tuesday.

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Sorry I wasn't able to get a Tale of the Tape posted yesterday, but vipersdiehadfan has both a great preview and recap of the game on his blog.

I'll try to get a Tale of the Tape posted for tonight and tomorrow afternoon's games, but no guarantees.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Merritt & Vernon WILL play:

I received word from Centennials GM Tyler Forsythe this evening that tomorrow's game between Merritt and Vernon will go ahead as scheduled at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. 17 Cents players have been on antibiotics since yesterday and Tyler told me that a number of them have made significant improvements in their health and although not close to 100%, they will be able to play against the Vipers. Despite that, Merritt will have two additional affiliate players in their lineup.

"Tale of the Tape" will be posted tomorrow.

Merritt vs. Vernon in jeopardy:

First off, I have heard the rumours about tomorrow's game between the Cents and Vipers being postponed and there is a very real chance that could happen. A number of the Centennials players are very sick and pretty much the entire team went to the doctor's yesterday to be checked out. I can't confirm it, but have also heard that a number of Vipers players are sick as well. I would hope that the league would keep the best interest of the players in mind here and reschedule this game for later in the season if neither team has a lineup healthy enough to play. The health and well-being of all involved is much more important than wins or losses.

I had the chance to speak with Cents head coach Dylan Forsythe prior to practice today. Here's what he had to say:

Cents Head Coach Dylan Forsythe

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

I'll have the usual "Tale of the Tape" posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cents @ Salmon Arm 10-28-09:

Here's the recap of last night's 10-2 loss from merrittcentennials.com

Salmon Arm, BC - October 27, 2009

Josh Manson had a goal and four assists and seven different Salmon Arm players scored as the Silverbacks routed the Merritt Centennials 10-2 in BC Hockey League action Tuesday night at the Sunwave Centre.

Rick Soo, Travis Statchuk and Matt Cassidy each scored a pair of goals for the Silverbacks (11-6-1-1) while Corey Chakeen, Mark Zengerle and David Killip added singles in the decisive victory. Zengerle also had three assists while Tyler Gubb and Devin Gannon each chipped in with a pair of helpers.

Alex Valenti and Stephen Wall each scored for Merritt (6-10-0-1). Ryne Bodger assisted on both of the Centennials markers.

Tony Ierfino made 18 saves for Salmon Arm.

Cents goaltender Keith Hamilton was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots in the first period. Affiliate goalie Cameron Dagg made 25 saves on 32 shots in relief.

Merritt returns to the ice to kick-off a three game weekend Friday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena against the Vernon Vipers. Salmon Arm's next game is on the road Friday in West Kelowna against the Westside Warriors.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tale of the Tape: Merritt @ Salmon Arm 10-27-09

MERRITT CENTENNIALS @ SALMON ARM SILVERBACKS
October 27, 2009 7:00PM at Sunwave Centre

JUST THE FACTS: MERRITT
STANDINGS: 6th in the Interior Conference (6-9-0-1, 13 pts)
LAST TEN: 4-5-0-1
STREAK: Won 2
GOALS PER GAME: 3.50 (T-5th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 5.90 (17th)
PP%: 25.37 (4th)
PK%: 66.32 (17th)

JUST THE FACTS: SALMON ARM
STANDINGS: 4th in the Interior Conference (10-6-1-1, 22 pts)
LAST TEN: 7-3-0-0
STREAK: Lost 1
GOALS PER GAME: 3.80 (4th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 3.80 (12th)
PP%: 26.42 (3rd)
PK%: 81.45 (9th)

TEAM LEADERS: MERRITT
GOALS: Dustin Johnson (10)
ASSISTS: Andrew Pickering (10)
POINTS: Dustin Johnson, Andrew Pickering, Colton Sobchak (13)
PIM: Joey McEwan (57)
WINS: Keith Hamilton (3)
GAA: Cole Holowenko (5.69)

TEAM LEADERS: SALMON ARM
GOALS: David Killip (14)
ASSISTS: Mark Zengerle (27)
POINTS: Mark Zengerle (38)
PIM: Jayson Reardon (49)
WINS: Tony Ierfino (9)
GAA: Tony Ierfino (3.43)

ON A ROLL: MERRITT
Dustin Johnson: 7-1-8 totals in last 5gp
Jeff Jones: 2-4-6 totals in last 4gp
Andrew Pickering: 1-8-9 totals in last 6gp
Alex Valenti: 0-4-4 totals in last 4gp
Derek Hills: 4-3-7 totals in last 3gp
Steve Tresierra: 0-4-4 totals in last 4gp
Matt Mazzarolo: 3-1-4 totals in last 2gp

ON A ROLL: SALMON ARM
Mark Zengerle: 0-7-7 totals in last 5gp
Greg Noyes: 3-1-4 totals in last 3gp

ICE COLD: MERRITT
Jordan Soquila: 2-1-3 totals in last 6gp
David Sabey: 1-1-2 totals in last 5gp
Ryne Bodger: 0-1-1 totals in last 7gp
Silvan Harper: 0-1-1 totals in last 5gp
Steve Wall: 0-1-1 totals in last 5gp

ICE COLD: SALMON ARM
Travis Statchuk: 0-2-2 totals in last 4gp
David Killip: 0-1-1 totals in last 4gp
Tyler Gubb: 1-0-1 totals in last 7gp
Corey Chakeen: 1-2-3 totals in last 9gp

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: MERRITT
10/21/09 @ Vernon 7-2 LOSS
10/23/09 vs. Quesnel 7-5 WIN
10/24/09 vs. Trail 8-5 WIN
10/30/09 vs. Vernon
10/31/09 @ Penticton

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: SALMON ARM
10/18/09 @ Cowichan Valley 5-2 LOSS
10/20/09 vs. Powell River 2-1 WIN
10/23/09 @ Trail 7-1 LOSS
10/30/09 @ Westside
10/31/09 vs. Westside

SEASON SERIES (0-1-0-0)
10/03/09 Merritt vs. Salmon Arm 7-3 LOSS

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY
* The Cents are 10-26-0-7 in the last six seasons against Salmon Arm (including playoffs) with a 6-11-0-4 record at home and a 4-15-0-3 record on the road during that span.

* Merritt was 0-6 in 2008-09 and is winless in sixteen straight against the Backs, including nine straight at the Sunwave Centre.

* The last time Merritt defeated Salmon Arm was almost three years ago, on November 28, 2006. That night, Nick Sciangula had two goals and two assists to pace the Cents to a wild 8-6 win at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. In that game, both Nick Kang and Jordan Zalba had three points while Patrick Rogan, Blake O'Connor, Tyler Halliday and Stephen Cavanagh each notched two points. Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Mike Naito, Riley Loyst, Jeff Taylor, Wade MacLeod and Jarett Costello each had a single point while Brad McInnis made 36 saves in the win.

* The Centennials and Silverbacks have met once in the last six seasons in the playoffs. In the 2005 first round, the Backs dominated the Cents in defeating them in five games. Salmon Arm outscored Merritt 30-10 in the series.

THE TIES THAT BIND
* The Centennals and Silverbacks haven't been frequent trading partners over the years, in fact they've only made one deal in last six seasons:

10-Jan-08 The Salmon Arm SilverBacks of the BCHL tranfer the playing rights of Graeme Gordon (89) (G) to the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL in exchange for future considerations.

I had the chance to speak with Centennials head coach Dylan Forsythe prior to Monday's practice regarding Tuesday's game in Salmon Arm.

Cents Head Coach Dylan Forsythe

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Hills Named BCHL Player of the Week:


(BCHL Player of the Week Derek Hills)

I had the chance to chat with Cents forward/defenceman Derek Hills before practice today regarding being named BCHL Player of the Week.

Cents forward/defenceman Derek Hills

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

From merrittcentennials.com

Merritt, BC - October 26, 2009

Merritt Centennials defenceman Derek Hill, who's also played forward at times this season, has been named the BC Hockey League's Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.

Hills scored four goals and added three assists in three games for the Cents. On Wednesday, the Campbell River product scored one of Merritt's two goals in the Cents 7-2 loss in Vernon. Two nights later, he scored twice, including the winner, and assisted once in a wild win over the visiting Quesnel Millionaires to earn first star honors. And Hills closed out the weekend with a goal and two assists in his team's 8-5 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters.

The 18-year-old now leads all Centennials defenceman in scoring with six goals and five assists in 16 games played. Hills tallied two goals and five points last season as a rookie in the BCHL with Powell River.

Merritt currently sits sixth in the Interior Conference with a record of six wins, nine losses and one overtime loss. The Cents are one point behind the fifth place Prince George Spruce Kings with two games in hand.

The Centennials return to the ice on Tuesday when they visit the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

From bchl.bc.ca

Merritt Centennials defenceman Derek Hills has been named the British Columbia Hockey League's Player of the Week for the week ending October 25th, the league announced Monday.

Hills began the week with a goal in a loss to the Vernon Vipers. He then busted out in a pair of home ice wins, first scoring twice and adding an assist in a 7-5 victory over the Quesnel Millionaires. The 18-year old scored the winner with less than six minutes remaining in regulation against the Millionaires and was named the game's first star. He put up another three points on Saturday in an 8-5 win over Trail, this time scoring once and adding two assists.

He finished the week with seven points on three goals and four assists.

Hills' offensive output during the week more than doubled his point total, as he now leads all Centennials blueliners in scoring with 11 points in 16 games. His six goals have him in a tie for second amongst BCHL defencemen, trailing only Salmon Arm's Greg Noyes (7).

Hills and his teammates return to the ice on Tuesday when they face Noyes and the SilverBacks at the Sunwave Centre at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cents vs. Trail 10-24-09:

From merrittcentennials.com

Merritt, BC - October 24, 2009

The Merritt Centennials scored twice in the first period and three more times in each of the second and third periods on their way to an 8-5 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters in BC Hockey League action Saturday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

Dustin Johnson had four goals, Andrew Pickering had four assists, Jeff Jones notched a goal and three assists while Matt Mazzarolo scored twice for the Centennials (6-9-0-1). Derek Hills added a single goal, his fourth in four games, and two assists in the win. Hills also now has seven points in his last three games. Mazzarolo now has three goals in his last two games.

Ben Matthews, Nick Sandor, Darnell Dyck, Sam Mellor and Scott Jacklin replied for the Smoke Eaters (4-13-1-1).

Keith Hamilton made 27 saves to pick up the win for Merritt, while Kiefer Smiley allowed seven of the eight goals on 45 shots in defeat for Trail.

The Centennials were 0-for-3 on the power play, but scored two shorthanded goals. The Smoke Eaters went 0-for-6 with the man advantage, scoring all five goals at even strength.

Merritt leapfrogs Quesnel into sixth in the Interior Conference. Both the Cents and Millionaires have the same number of points, but Merritt has one more win and a game in hand.

The Centennials next game is Tuesday in Salmon Arm as they look for their first road win off the season. Trail hits the road for their next game as they visit Williams Lake.

Tale of the Tape: Merritt vs. Trail 10-24-09

MERRITT CENTENNIALS vs. TRAIL SMOKE EATERS
October 24, 2009 7:30PM at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena

JUST THE FACTS: MERRITT
STANDINGS: 7th in the Interior Conference (5-9-0-1, 11 pts)
LAST TEN: 4-5-0-1
STREAK: Won 1
GOALS PER GAME: 3.20 (9th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 6.00 (17th)
PP%: 26.56 (3rd)
PK%: 64.04 (17th)

JUST THE FACTS: TRAIL
STANDINGS: 8th in the Interior Conference (4-12-1-1, 10 pts)
LAST TEN: 3-6-0-1
STREAK: Won 1
GOALS PER GAME: 3.30 (8th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 5.10 (15th)
PP%: 18.89 (9th)
PK%: 68.67 (16th)

TEAM LEADERS: MERRITT
GOALS: Dustin Johnson, David Sabey (6)
ASSISTS: Colton Sobchak (9)
POINTS: Colton Sobchak (13)
PIM: Kevin Philp (56)
WINS: Keith Hamilton, Cole Holowenko (2)
GAA: Cole Holowenko (5.69)

TEAM LEADERS: TRAIL
GOALS: Tye Lewis (11)
ASSISTS: Tye Lewis, Scott Jacklin (13)
POINTS: Tye Lewis (24)
PIM: Josh McEwan (39)
WINS: Kiefer Smiley (3)
GAA: Kiefer Smiley (4.31)

ON A ROLL: MERRITT
Dustin Johnson: 3-1-4 totals in last 4gp
Jordan Soquila: 2-1-3 totals in last 4gp
Alex Valenti: 0-4-4 totals in last 3gp
Andrew Pickering: 1-4-5 totals in last 5gp
Derek Hills: 3-1-4 totals in last 2gp

ON A ROLL: TRAIL (courtesy Shawn's Smoke Eaters blog)
Scott Jacklin (9 points in his last 5 games)
Nick Sandor (7 points in his last 5 games)
Tye Lewis (7 points in his last 5 games)
Sam Mellor (6 points in his last 5 games)

ICE COLD: MERRITT
David Sabey: 1-1-2 totals in last 5gp
Jeff Jones: 1-2-3 totals in last 6gp
Ryne Bodger: 0-0-0 totals in last 6gp
Daniel Chang: 0-1-1 totals in last 6gp

ICE COLD: TRAIL
Travis St. Denis: 1-3-4 totals in last 8gp
Sean Nugent: 1-0-1 totals in last 7gp

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: MERRITT
10/17/09 vs. Westside 3-1 WIN
10/21/09 @ Vernon 7-2 LOSS
10/23/09 vs. Quesnel 7-5 WIN
10/27/09 @ Salmon Arm
10/30/09 vs. Vernon

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: TRAIL
10/17/09 @ Cowichan Valley 4-2 LOSS
10/18/09 @ Surrey 6-4 LOSS
10/23/09 vs. Salmon Arm 7-1 WIN
10/30/09 @ Williams Lake
10/31/09 @ Prince George

SEASON SERIES
09/11/09 Merritt vs. Trail 4-2 WIN
10/06/09 Merritt vs. Trail 8-3 WIN

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY
* The Cents are 25-23-1-2 in the last six seasons against Trail (including playoffs) with a 17-8-0-2 record at home and a 8-15-1-0 record on the road during that span.

* Merritt was 2-6 against the Smokies in 2008-09.

* The last time Merritt defeated Trail was earlier this month on October 6, 2009 by a final score of 8-3. It was the Centennials largest goal output so far this season as Jeff Jones and Steve Tresierra each had three points in the win. Ryne Bodger, Colton Sobchak, Andrew Pickering, Jordan Soquila, Alex Valenti and Joey McEwan each had two assists. Only Jeff Zmurchyk, Kam Crawford and Steve Wall failed to register a point. Keith Hamilton made 43 saves in goal for the Cents.

* The Centennials and Smoke Eaters have met twice in the last six seasons in the playoffs, both times in the opening round with each team winning a series. In the 2006 playoffs, the Cents dominated the Smokies and won the series in five games while outscoring them 25-9. In 2007, Merritt and Trail met again in the Fred Page Cup post-season tournament and it took seven games for the Smoke Eaters to eliminate the Centennials.

* With the two playoff series included, Merritt has faced Trail more than any other team in the last six seasons with a total of 51 games played.

THE TIES THAT BIND
*Defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk is the lone former Smoke Eater on the Centennials roster while Trail's roster features no former Centennials.

*We'll see if blood is thicker than water in tonight's game as for the first time, Cents forward and older brother Joey McEwan faces his younger brother Josh McEwan, who the Smoke Eaters signed as a free agent earlier this month.

*The Cents and Smokies have been frequent trading partners in the last six seasons. Here's a summary of the deals:

19-May-09 The Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Jeff Zmurchyk (D)(90) to the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club for the 2009-10 season to complete the Jan 2009 transfer of Chad Gehon to Merritt for Scott Jacklin and future considerations.

10-Jan-09 The Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Chad Gehon (88)(F) and future considerations to the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club for the playing rights of Scott Jacklin (90)(F).

22-Jun-08 The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Chad Gehon (88)(F), Tyler Johns (89)(D) and Shane Oatway (90)(D) to the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Cameron Brodie (88)(F) and Brad Davis (88)(F).

08-Jan-08 The Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club acquires the playing rights of Kevin Koopman (88)(D) from the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

15-Oct-07 The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Paul Levarsky (89)(D) to the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Todd Bowman (87)(D).

25-May-07 The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Cody Butcher (87)(D) to the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Mitchell Smith (88)(F) and Brian Kang (88)(F).

03-Aug-05 The Merritt Centennials trade Daryle Hurd 85(F)to the Trail Smoke Eaters in exchange for Chris Shudo 86(F).

Cents vs. Quesnel 10-23-09:

Here's the recap of last night shootout win for the Cents over Quesnel 7-5 from MerrittCentennials.com

Merritt, BC - October 23, 2009

Derek Hills and Colton Sobchak each scored twice in sparking the Merritt Centennials to a 7-5 win over the visiting Quesnel Millionaires on Friday in the BC Hockey League.

Hills, who now has three goals in his last two games and five markers on the season, notched the winner at 14:12 of the third period to help the Centennials post their fifth win in nine home starts this season.

The Cents, who trailed 2-0 after the first period, also had goals from Dustin Johnson, Matt Mazzarolo and Jeff Zmurchyk as they took a 5-3 lead early in the third period.

Trail replied with goals in the final frame from Chris Kerr and Trever Hertz.

Centennials netmider Keith Hamilton improved his season record to 2-3 while turning aside 25 of 28 shots. Millionaires goaltender Kirby Halcrow yielded six goals on 41 shots.

Merritt returns to the ice Saturday night against Trail at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Quesnel is back in action Saturday night in Vernon against the 15-1-0-0 Vipers.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tale of the Tape: Merritt vs. Quesnel 10-23-09

MERRITT CENTENNIALS vs. QUESNEL MILLIONAIRES
October 23, 2009 7:30PM at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena

JUST THE FACTS: MERRITT
STANDINGS: 7th in the Interior Conference (4-9-0-1, 8 pts)
LAST TEN: 3-6-0-1
STREAK: Lost 1
GOALS PER GAME: 2.90 (T-14th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 6.10 (17th)
PP%: 25.81% (4th)
PK%: 64.71% (17th)

JUST THE FACTS: QUESNEL
STANDINGS: 5th in the Interior Conference (5-8-0-2, 12 pts)
LAST TEN: 4-5-0-1
STREAK: Won 2
GOALS PER GAME: 2.70 (17th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 3.30 (T-9th)
PP%: 18.68% (12th)
PK%: 72.15% (15th)

TEAM LEADERS: MERRITT
GOALS: David Sabey (6)
ASSISTS: Colton Sobchak (8)
POINTS: Jordan Soquila, Colton Sobchak, Alex Valenti (10)
PIM: Kevin Philp (54)
WINS: Cole Holowenko (2)
GAA: Cole Holowenko (5.63)

TEAM LEADERS: QUESNEL
GOALS: Trevor Hertz (10)
ASSISTS: Eliot Raibl, Taylor Holst (8)
POINTS: Trevor Hertz (16)
PIM: Skyler Smutek (35)
WINS: Kirby Halcrow (4)
GAA: Kirby Halcrow (3.14)

ON A ROLL: MERRITT
Alex Valenti: 0-2-2 totals in last 2gp
Colton Sobchak: 1-6-7 totals in last 5gp
Dustin Johnson: 2-1-3 totals in last 3gp

ON A ROLL: QUESNEL
Trevor Hertz: 4-2-6 totals in last 2gp
Tyler French: 2-2-4 totals in last 3gp
Skyler Smutek: 1-2-3 totals in last 3gp
Sam Higgins: 0-5-5 totals in last 3gp

ICE COLD: MERRITT
Jordan Soquila: 1-0-1 totals in last 4gp
Ryne Bodger: 0-0-0 totals in last 5gp
Steve Tresierra: 0-1-1 totals in last 5gp
Silvan Harper: 0-0-0 totals in last 4gp
Kevin Philp: 0-1-1 totals in last 5gp

ICE COLD: QUESNEL
Darick Ste-Marie: 0-1-1 totals in last 6gp
Eliot Raibl: 0-1-1 totals in last 5gp
Matthew Herzkovitz: 0-1-1 totals in last 7gp

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: MERRITT
10/16/09 @ Westside 14-2 LOSS
10/17/09 vs. Westside 3-1 WIN
10/21/09 @ Vernon 7-2 LOSS
10/24/09 vs. Trail
10/27/09 @ Salmon Arm

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: QUESNEL
10/15/09 vs. Vernon 9-1 LOSS
10/16/09 vs. Langley 4-3 WIN
10/17/09 vs. Powell River 3-2 WIN
10/24/09 @ Vernon
10/30/09 vs. Prince George

SEASON SERIES
10/23/09 Merritt vs. Quesnel

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY
* The Cents are 22-12-0-3 in the last six seasons against Quesnel, with a 11-6-0-2 record at home and a 11-6-0-1 record on the road during that span.

* Merritt was 5-5 against the Millionaires in 2008-09.

* The last time Merritt defeated Quesnel was on Valentine's Day last season, February 14, 2009 by a final score of 4-3. Dustin Johnson scored the winner while Gary Rai, Paul Forster and Codie Kightley also scored for the Centennials. Jordan Soquila, Brad Bourke and Jake Baker each had an assist in the win. Harrison May made 36 saves in goal for the Cents.

* Of the teams' last 37 match-ups, 16 of the games have been decided by just one goal and 26 of the games have been decided by two goals or less.

THE TIES THAT BIND
*Interestingly enough, the Centennials and Millionaires haven't been involved in very many trades at all in the last six seasons. In fact, they haven't hooked up on a trade in nearly two years. Here's a summary of the deals directly between the two teams:

30-Oct-07 The Quesnel Millionaires Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Jordan Harrison (F)(88) to the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club for the playing rights of Mitchell Smith (F)(88).

28-Nov-03 The Quesnel Millionaires trade the playing rights of Carver Dowhan (85) to the Merritt Centennials for the playing rights of Mac Rines (84)

I had the chance to speak with Centennials GM Tyler Forsythe prior to Friday's game at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in Merritt.

Cents GM Tyler Forsythe

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Cents @ Vernon 10-21-09:

I listened to most of last night's game in Vernon between the Centennials and the Vipers and it sounds like Merritt played the Snakes tough until things got blown open in the third period.

Here's a recap of the game from vipersdiehardfan's blog.

Here's the recap from the Cents website:

Merritt, BC - October 21, 2009

Steven Weinstein, Bryce Kakoske and Kellen Jones each scored in the first half of the third period to lift the Vernon Vipers (15-1-0-0) to a 7-2 win over the Merritt Centennials (4-9-0-1) on Wednesday night.

Connor Jones with a pair, and Jonathan Milhouse also scored in the third as the Vipers win streak reached eight games while the Centennials remain winless away from the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

Dustin Johnson and Derek Hills had the Merritt goals as the Cents had a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Cole Holowenko made 40 saves in goal for the Centennials while former Merritt netminder Graeme Gordon, who was traded to Vernon in October of 2008, kicked out 14 shots to record his league-leading 12th victory of the season.

The Vipers outshot the Cents 47-16, including 18-0 in the third period. Merritt went 1-for-5 on the power play while Vernon was 3-for-7.

The Centennials next game is Friday night at home against Quesnel. The Vipers next action is Saturday, also at home to the Millionaires.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MacMillan Returns to the Cents:


(Alexander MacMillan in last season's Cents team photo)

Forward Alexander MacMillan (90) has rejoined the Centennials after being sent home after training camp to recover from a bout of mononucleosis. MacMillan battled injuries last season with the Cents after being acquired from the AJHL's Drayton Valley Thunder. He posted one assist in 12 games with Merritt. As a 17-year-old with the Thunder in 2007-08, MacMillan had nine assists in 53 games. He'll return to the lineup tonight against Vernon, wearing number 27.


(Cameron Dagg's team photo from this season with KIJHL's Columbia Valley Rockies)

The Cents have also added goaltender Cameron Dagg (92) to the roster as an affiliate player. Dagg, who was with the Cents training camp, has played eleven games with Columbia Valley of the KIJHL, posting a 1-7-0-0 record. Dagg's goals-against-average is certainly not flattering, but his save percentage of .868 indicates how well he's played for the Rockies this season. So far this season, Columbia Valley goaltenders have faced totals of 36, 66, 47, 57, 60, 49, 87(!), 52, 71(!), 45, 41, 57, 65(!), 38, 55, 34 and 54 shots. That's an average of 54 shots against per game. Dagg was named first star in the Rockies lone win, 3-2 over Golden on Sunday October 4. The Kamloops product made 43 saves in the victory.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tale of the Tape: Merritt @ Vernon 10-21-09

MERRITT CENTENNIALS vs.VERNON VIPERS
October 21, 2009 7:00PM at Wesbild Centre

JUST THE FACTS: MERRITT
STANDINGS: 7th in the Interior Conference (4-8-0-1, 8 pts)
LAST TEN: 3-6-0-1
STREAK: Won 1
GOALS PER GAME: 3.00 (T-12th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 6.00 (17th)
PP%: 26.32% (4th)
PK%: 65.38% (17th)

JUST THE FACTS: VERNON
STANDINGS: 1st in the Interior Conference (14-1-0-0, 28 pts)
LAST TEN: 9-1-0-0
STREAK: Won 7
GOALS PER GAME: 5.10 (T-1st)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 1.40 (1st)
PP%: 23.75% (5th)
PK%: 92.96% (1st)

TEAM LEADERS: MERRITT
GOALS: David Sabey (6)
ASSISTS: Colton Sobchak (8)
POINTS: Jordan Soquila, Colton Sobchak (10)
PIM: Kevin Philp (52)
WINS: Cole Holowenko (2)
GAA: Cole Holowenko (5.43)

TEAM LEADERS: VERNON
GOALS: Mike Collins (10)
ASSISTS: Mike Collins, Kellen Jones (15)
POINTS: Mike Collins (25)
PIM: Garrett Noonan (25)
WINS: Graeme Gordon (11)
GAA: Blake Voth (1.00)

ON A ROLL: MERRITT
Colton Sobchak: 2-8-10 totals in last 7gp
Jeff Jones: 1-2-3 totals in last 3gp
Andrew Pickering: 1-3-4 in last 4gp

ON A ROLL: VERNON
Dylan Walchuk/Braden Pimm/Jonathan Milhouse/Mike Collins: 7 game point streak each
Rob Short: 6 game point streak

ICE COLD: MERRITT
Jordan Soquila: 1-0-1 totals in last 3gp
Alex Valenti: 0-1-1 totals in last 3gp
Ryne Bodger: 0-0-0 totals in last 4gp
Stephen Wall: 0-1-1 totals in last 4gp

ICE COLD: VERNON

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: MERRITT
10/10/09 @ Penticton 9-1 LOSS
10/16/09 @ Westside 14-2 LOSS
10/17/09 vs. Westside 3-1 WIN
10/23/09 vs. Quesnel
10/24/09 vs. Trail

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: VERNON
10/15/09 @ Quesnel 9-1 WIN
10/16/09 @ Williams Lake 9-2 WIN
10/18/09 @ Prince George 5-1 WIN
10/24/09 vs. Quesnel
10/30/09 @ Merritt

SEASON SERIES
10/21/09 Merritt @ Vernon

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY
* The Cents are 7-29-0-2 in the last six seasons against Vernon, with a 4-14-0-1 record at home and a 3-15-0-1 record on the road during that span.

* Merritt was 0-6 against the Vipers in 2008-09.

* The Centennials are on a 14 game winless skid (0-13-0-1) against the Vipers.

* The last time Merritt defeated Vernon was on January 14, 2007 by a final score of 3-2. Wade MacLeod scored the winner while Casey Fratkin and Tyler Halliday also scored for the Centennials. Nick Stermer, Mike Naito, Nick Kang, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Jason Wright and Cody Butcher each had an assist in the win. Brad McInnis made 45 saves in goal for the Cents.

* Of the teams' last 38 match-ups, 13 of the games have been decided by just one goal and 23 of the games have been decided by two goals or less.

THE TIES THAT BIND
* David Sabey and Jeff Jones are both current Centennials who attended training camp this season with the Vipers after spending last season in the KIJHL. Both were released by Vernon after playing in its annual Blue & White intrasquad game on August 29th.

*Current Vipers play-by-play announcer Todd Miller is from Merritt, grew up and got his start in radio at the station here when it was known as Radio NL. Todd was the Cents play-by-play voice for a number of years in the late 1990's and early 2000's before moving to Vernon to join the Vipers.

*Interestingly enough, the Centennials and Vipers have been frequent trading partners in the last three seasons, but didn't make a single deal with each other from 2003 to 2007. Here's a summary of the deals between the teams over the last six seasons:

07-Jan-09: The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Steve Tresierra (90)(D) to the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

8-Oct-08: The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Matt Cumming (D)(91) and future considerations to the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Graeme Gordon (89)(G).

02-Dec-07: The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Justin Thomas (89)(D) to the Vernon Vipers Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

06-Oct-07: The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Patrick Rogan (90)(F) to the Vernon Vipers Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Kevin Koopman (88)(D).

10-Sep-07: The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Casey Fratkin (F)(89) to the Vernon Vipers Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

05-Sep-07: The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Eliot Raibl (89)(D) to the Vernon Viper Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

I had the chance to speak with Centennials GM Tyler Forsythe prior to Wednesday's game at the Wesbild Centre in Vernon.

Cents GM Tyler Forsythe

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.