It was a great weekend for the Cents and their fans as the team won a season opener and home opener for the first time since the 2006-07 season. That night, it was Wade MacLeod who did the damage with three goals and an assist in a 6-3 win over Prince George. This past Friday, it was the unlikely duo of Ryne Bodger and Derek Hills that powered the Cents to a 4-2 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters.
We found out just before the game that Jordan Soquila was named Cents captain for this season. I personally think it's a great choice as Jordan carries himself very well both on and off the ice. He always is respectful and did a great job speaking on behalf of the team at the Terry Fox Run in Merritt yesterday. On the ice, Soquila looks like he may be poised for a breakout offensive year after notching two assists against the Smokies. The Maple Ridge product averaged almost half a point per game last season, his second in the BCHL, and put up more than a point per game in his final year of bantam and also in junior B.
During the game, I was impressed with the grittiness of newcomers Daniel Chang and Silvan Harper. Although both showed flashes of the offensive flair displayed at other levels, it was their willingness to go into the corners and also show the ability to draw penalties that will make them valuable additions to the Cents lineup. The key, of course, will be to perform those roles consistently.
Norbert Biszczak looked a little shaky at first in making his junior A debut, but shook it off quickly to finish with a tidy 30 saves. The Cents coaching staff have yet to anoint a number one goaltender, but I would think that all things being equal, they'll go with the player with the hot hand. There's so much more to mention about the game, but I'm running short on time. I do want to thank everyone that took the time to come say hello and enjoy a hot dog or hamburger as part of the tailgate party. It was great to see the rink just 250 shy of a sell out and hopefully the crowd will be even bigger this Friday against PG.
I want to apologize for the audio and video not working through the BCHL site during Friday's game. I did a test earlier Friday afternoon with INSINC and the audio was working, but then come game time, the encoder decided to not work. I'm looking into it and hope to have at least audio ready to go for this Friday. As for the video, after fixing what we thought was the problem, it turns out that's NOT the problem and something else is. Again, we'll try to have it up and running for this Friday.