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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!