The Cents suffered their first loss of the season 2-0 against Prince George last night. It's tough for 16-year-old Cole Holowenko as he played well in the loss, but didn't receive any offensive support from the players in front of him.
The Cents missed the presence of Dustin Johnson, Colton Sobchak and Gary Rai as obviously their forward depth was tested with all three out of the lineup. Johnson and Sobchak both took part in the game day skate yesterday, which indicates they are close to returning from their nagging injuries, maybe even as soon as Wednesday's home game against Burnaby. As for Rai, I wouldn't expect to see him back in a Cents sweater any time soon, if ever again. He's at home in Vancouver after requesting a trade away from the Country Music Capital of Canada. I would think that any trade involving the 19-year-old would have to bring another forward to the Cents as the team's depth on defence has been well-documented.
One possibility that GM Tyler Forsythe and assistant GM Dylan Forsythe have is to package Rai and one of the Cents excess defenceman in exchange for a top six forward. Time will tell.
The other big news heading into last night's game was that the Spruce Kings picked up former Cents goaltender Kyle Nielsen as a free agent after Merritt released him last week. Kyle's a good guy and a goaltender with some very good potential. I wish him the best of luck in PG.
Forward Michael Nardi, who was released by the Centennials earlier this month, has resurfaced with the PIJHL's North Delta Devils. Nardi was acquired by the Cents just before the trade deadline last season along with future considerations (which ended up in a roundabout way being Thomas Hardy) in exchange for Alex Goodship. After being a big time scorer at the midget level, for some reason, Nardi couldn't find that consistency at the junior 'A' level. I wouldn't be surprised if he did wind up in the BCHL before the season is done, but the Cents depth of 1990-born forwards is likely why he isn't wearing Merritt colours.