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.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cents vs. Westside 10-17-09:

What a huge bounce back game for the Cents! Here's the recap of tonight's 3-1 win over Westside from www.merrittcentennials.com

Merritt, BC - October 17, 2009

Before 555 fans at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, Jeff Jones and David Sabey each had a goal and an assist to lead the Merritt Centennials to a 3-1 victory over the Westside Warriors in the BC Hockey League Saturday night.

The win ends a three game losing streak for the Centennials (4-8-0-1) while the loss snaps Westside's (9-4-0-0) four game winning streak.

Merritt opened the scoring with a power play goal from Jones just 2:05 into the first period.

Sabey scored at 16:54 of the second to give the Cents a 2-0 lead before Grayson Downing added a power play marker with 28 seconds left in the middle frame.

Sabey's goal would stand as the game-winner when Jordan Soquila took a pass from Alex Valenti on a 2-on-1 and wristed a shot to the top corner on Warriors goaltender Cam Gorchynski to make it 3-1 Merritt.

Cents netminder Cole Holowenko stopped 48 shots to earn first star honours. Gorchynski finished with 26 saves for the Warriors.

Merritt wound up 1-for-4 on the power play while Westside was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

The Centennials next action is on the road Wednesday in Vernon while the Warriors open a Coastal road trip Wednesday in Surrey.

Tale of the Tape: Merritt vs. Westside 10-17-09

WESTSIDE WARRIORS vs. MERRITT CENTENNIALS
October 17, 2009 7:30PM at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena

JUST THE FACTS: MERRITT
STANDINGS: 8th in the Interior Conference (3-8-0-1, 6 pts)
LAST TEN: 2-7-0-1
STREAK: Lost 3
GOALS PER GAME: 3.00 (T-12th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 6.40 (17th)
PP%: 26.42% (4th)
PK%: 63.38% (17th)

JUST THE FACTS: WESTSIDE
STANDINGS: 4th in the Interior Conference (9-3-0-0, 18 pts)
LAST TEN: 7-3-0-0
STREAK: Won 4
GOALS PER GAME: 5.30 (1st)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 2.80 (3rd)
PP%: 37.74% (1st)
PK%: 87.30% (3rd)

TEAM LEADERS: MERRITT
GOALS: Alex Valenti, David Sabey (5)
ASSISTS: Colton Sobchak (8)
POINTS: Colton Sobchak (10)
PIM: Kevin Philp (50)
WINS: Keith Hamilton, Cole Holowenko (1)
GAA: Cole Holowenko (6.19)

TEAM LEADERS: WESTSIDE
GOALS: Trevor Bailey (11)
ASSISTS: Cam Reid (15)
POINTS: Trevor Bailey, Cam Reid (22)
PIM: Joel Woznikoski (45)
WINS: Kevin Jebson (8)
GAA: Kevin Jebson (2.76)

ON A ROLL: MERRITT
Colton Sobchak: 1-7-8 totals in last 6gp
Jordan Soquila: 3-3-6 totals in last 6gp
Alex Valenti: 5-2-7 totals in last 6gp
Andrew Pickering: 1-3-4 totals in last 4gp

ON A ROLL: WESTSIDE
Trevor Bailey: 7-6-13 totals in last 6gp
Cam Reid: 4-8-12 totals in last 5gp
Scott MacDonald: 3-6-9 in last 6gp
Brendan Ellis: 4-10-14 in last 10gp

ICE COLD: MERRITT
Kevin Philp: 0-1-1 totals in last 6gp
Steve Wall: 0-1-1 totals in last 5gp
Mitch Jones: 0-1-1 totals in last 6gp
Cole Holwenko: 6.19 GAA, .851 SV% in last 8gp
Keith Hamilton: 7.08 GAA, .844 SV% in last 6gp

ICE COLD: WESTSIDE
Kyle Singleton: 2-0-2 totals in last 6gp
Colton Sissons: 0-1-1 totals in last 9gp
Max French: 1-1-2 totals in last 6gp

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: MERRITT
10/9/09 vs. Alberni Valley 9-3 LOSS
10/10/09 @ Penticton 9-1 LOSS
10/16/09 @ Westside 10-1 LOSS
10/21/09 @ Vernon
10/23/09 vs. Quesnel

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: WESTSIDE
10/4/09 vs. Merritt 5-4 WIN (OT)
10/9/09 vs. Prince George 4-3 WIN (OT)
10/11/09 vs. Cowichan Valley 6-1 WIN
10/17/09 vs. Merritt 10-1 WIN
10/21/09 @ Surrey
10/23/09 @ Powell River

SEASON SERIES
10/04/09 Merritt 4 @ Westside 5 (OT)
10/16/09 Merritt 2 @ Westside 14

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY
* The Cents are 2-16-0-3 all time against Westside, with a 0-7-0-2 record at home, and a 2-9-0-1 on the road during that span.

* Merritt was 0-6 against the Warriors in 2008-09, including a blown 5-1 lead in a 7-5 loss at Royal LePage Place on September 18, 2009.

* The Centennials are on a ten game winless skid (0-9-0-1) against the Warriors.

* The last time Merritt defeated Westside was on November 23, 2007. Scott Jow scored the winner and Erick Ruud and Chad Gehon each had four points for the Centennials. Shane Mainprize made 50 saves in goal for Merritt.

* The Warriors have shutout the Cents three times: 9-0 in Westside on January 16, 2009, 1-0 in Merritt on September 26, 2008 and 10-0 in Westside on February 19, 2008.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cents @ Westside 10-16-09:

Here's the recap of tonight's debacle in Westside from the Cents website:

Merritt, BC - October 16, 2009

Cole Wilson scored his first of two goals 1:58 into the Westside Warriors 14-2 rout of Merritt on Friday night. Alex Grieve led Westside with four goals and two assists.

Westside (8-3-0-0) has won four in a row and six of seven games.

Trevor Bailey had the hat trick and Brendan Ellis scored two goals for the Warriors, who also got goals from Matthew Maher, Grayson Downing and Scott MacDonald.

Dustin Johnson and Daniel Chang tallied for the Centennials, who are riding a three game losing streak. The loss on the road eclipsed a 9-1 defeat to Penticton earlier this season.

Merritt had a disastrous start to the game as Wilson notched his first BCHL goal just 1:58 into the first period. Grieve made it a twelve-goal game with his fourth of the night at 19:07 of the third.

Less than eight minutes after Grieve made it 2-0 in the first period, Bailey popped his first of the night on a power play to make it 3-0 for Westside. 25 seconds later, Grieve, with his second, beat Cole Holowenko, who had come in relief of Keith Hamilton, to give the Warriors a 4-0 lead. Maher, at 16:14, and Wilson, 25 seconds later, made it 6-0 Westside after 20 minutes.

Just 1:06 into the second, Downing increased Westside's margin to 7-0. Bailey made 8-0 2:11 later on a pass from Cam Reid. Johnson got the Cents on the board with their first shorthanded goal of the season with 6:35 remaining in the middle frame. 29 seconds later, Bailey made it an eight-goal cushion on a power play. At 17:29, MacDonald gave the Warriors a 10-1 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

Ellis stretched Westside's lead to 11-1 on a power play at 5:17 of the third period while Grieve made it 12-1 at 8:02. Ellis notched his second of the period on another power play at 15:18 to give the Warriors a 13-1 lead. Chang scored the Cents second goal, also shorthanded to bring Merritt within eleven. Grieve iced the game with his sixth point of the night at 19:17 for the twelve goal margin of victory.

The Warriors went 6-for-7 on the power play while outshooting the Centennials 41-24.

For Merritt, it's the worst loss the franchise has suffered since January 25, 2008 when the Centennials lost 14-1 in Nanaimo.

The Cents and Warriors meet again Saturday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena as Merritt looks to snap its three game losing streak.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tale of the Tape: Merritt @ Westside 10-16-09

Sorry about the lack of updates in the last week or so, it's been a busy time at the Wiebe household and at the radio station. Throw in a weekend away from Merritt for Thanksgiving and you've got one serious lack of updates.

It was a roller coaster week for the Cents as they started off with a very decisive 8-3 win over Trail and wrapped up with a 9-1 loss in Penticton. Merritt still holds down the final Interior Conference playoff spot, one point behind Quesnel and four back of Prince George heading into this weekend's action which features a home and home series against Westside. The Cents definitely hung with the Warriors a couple of weeks back, and in fact even had a 4-2 lead late in the third period before ultimately falling in overtime.

I'm going to try something new for this Friday's game and we'll see how it works out.

MERRITT CENTENNIALS vs. WESTSIDE WARRIORS
October 16, 2009 7:00PM at Royal LePage Place

JUST THE FACTS: MERRITT
STANDINGS: 7th in the Interior Conference (3-7-0-1, 6 pts)
LAST TEN: 2-7-0-1
STREAK: Lost 2
GOALS PER GAME: 3.10 (12th)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 5.70 (17th)
PP%: 27.45% (3rd)
PK%: 68.75% (17th)

JUST THE FACTS: WESTSIDE
STANDINGS: T-3rd in the Interior Conference (8-3-0-0, 16 pts)
LAST TEN: 7-3-0-0
STREAK: Won 3
GOALS PER GAME: 4.50 (T-3rd)
GOALS ALLOWED PER GAME: 2.90 (T-5th)
PP%: 30.43% (1st)
PK%: 86.89% (4th)

TEAM LEADERS: MERRITT
GOALS: Alex Valenti, David Sabey (5)
ASSISTS: Colton Sobchak (8)
POINTS: Colton Sobchak (10)
PIM: Kevin Philp (46)
WINS: Keith Hamilton, Cole Holowenko (1)
GAA: Keith Hamilton (5.31)

TEAM LEADERS: WESTSIDE
GOALS: Trevor Bailey (8)
ASSISTS: Cam Reid (11)
POINTS: Trevor Bailey, Cam Reid (18)
PIM: Joel Woznikoski (43)
WINS: Kevin Jebson (7)
GAA: Kevin Jebson (2.84)

ON A ROLL: MERRITT
Colton Sobchak: 1-7-8 totals in last 5gp
Jordan Soquila: 3-3-6 totals in last 5gp
Alex Valenti: 5-2-7 totals in last 5gp
Andrew Pickering: 1-3-4 totals in last 3gp

ON A ROLL: WESTSIDE
Trevor Bailey: 4-5-9 totals in last 5gp
Cam Reid: 4-4-8 totals in last 4gp
Scott MacDonald: 2-5-7 in last 5gp
Brendan Ellis: 2-7-9 in last 9gp

ICE COLD: MERRITT
Kevin Philp: 0-1-1 totals in last 5gp
Steve Wall: 0-1-1 totals in last 4gp

ICE COLD: WESTSIDE
Kyle Singleton: 1-0-1 totals in last 4gp
Quinn Gould: 1-0-1 totals in last 5gp

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: MERRITT
10/6/09 vs. Trail 8-3 WIN
10/9/09 vs. Alberni Valley 9-3 LOSS
10/10/09 @ Penticton 9-1 LOSS
10/17/09 vs. Westside
10/21/09 @ Vernon

RECENT/UPCOMING GAMES: WESTSIDE
10/4/09 vs. Merritt 5-4 WIN (OT)
10/9/09 vs. Prince George 4-3 WIN (OT)
10/11/09 vs. Cowichan Valley 6-1 WIN
10/17/09 @ Merritt
10/21/09 @ Surrey

SEASON SERIES
10/04/09 Merritt 4 @ Westside 5 (OT)

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY
* The Cents are 2-15-0-3 all time against Westside, with a 0-7-0-2 record at home, and a 2-8-0-1 on the road during that span.

* Merritt was 0-6 against the Warriors in 2008-09, including a blown 5-1 lead in a 7-5 loss at Royal LePage Place on September 18, 2009.

* The Centennials are on a nine game winless skid (0-8-0-1) against the Warriors.

* The last time Merritt defeated Westside was on November 23, 2007. Scott Jow scored the winner and Erick Ruud and Chad Gehon each had four points for the Centennials. Shane Mainprize made 50 saves in goal for Merritt.

* The Warriors have shutout the Cents three times: 9-0 in Westside on January 16, 2009, 1-0 in Merritt on September 26, 2008 and 10-0 in Westside on February 19, 2008.

THE TIES THAT BIND
* On January 10, 2009, the Centennials and Warriors made the only trade ever between the two teams. Merritt sent forward Chad Gehon (88) (who the Cents picked up earlier from Trail) to Westside for forward Matt Betker (90) and future considerations. The futures were completed in the summer, which turned out to be defenceman Tyler Miller (91).

* The Cents have four players on their roster from the Kelowna area, forwards Colton Sobchak, David Sabey and Joey McEwan, and goaltender Keith Hamilton, who will get the start against the Warriors. Merritt also has forward Dustin Johnson, goaltender Cole Holowenko and defenceman Kameran Crawford, who all are from Penticton, which is just 40 minutes down Highway 97 from West Kelowna.

I had the chance to talk to Cents head coach Dylan Forsythe prior to Friday's game in West Kelowna.

Cents Head Coach Dylan Forsythe

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Monday, October 5, 2009

UPDATE - Cents Acquire Pickering from Prince George:


(New Cents forward Andrew Pickering)

The Cents made a splash this morning, sending defenceman Brad Bourke (89) to Prince George for forward Andrew Pickering (89). As mentioned by Cents GM Tyler Forsythe in an interview I'll post later, it addresses a major need for Merritt as the team picks up a top six forward while dealing from a point of depth in sending Bourke to the Spruce Kings. More to come.

***UPDATE***
Here's the interview I did with Cents GM Tyler Forsythe after yesterday's deal to acquire Pickering:

Cents GM Tyler Forsythe

Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Cents Trade & MSS Volleyball:

The Cents made one trade prior to the weekend. My sources are telling me that they've made another deal, but the details of that trade aren't official yet. Again, I should have more later. Here's what I can report: the Cents shipped defenceman Tyler Miller (91) to his hometown Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for future considerations. Miller was released by the WHL's Prince George Cougars late last week, with the Cents owning his junior A rights as part of the trade that sent forward Chad Gehon (88) to Westside last season. He didn't want to report to Merritt then, and still didn't so the Cents traded him to PG.

-----------------------
I received an email this morning from Shelly Moorhead, a teacher at Merritt Secondary School with an update on junior girls volleyball action from the weekend.

Good morning here is some info on how we did last weekend Junior Girls volleyball had at tourney at St Ann's Academy in Kamloops - 8 teams, the squad came first in their pool beating Princeton 25-16 25-15, Valleyview 25-18, 19- 25, 16-14 and Saturday they finished the pool play, playing Norkam 25-20, 21-25, and 19-17 - it was an amazing game.

That put the girls into the finals, playing AL Fortune from Vernon beating them 25-20 and 25-19, Semis next where the girls came up short to the home squad of St Ann's 22-25 and 23 - 25.

The girls had a terrific tourney.

Game all-stars - Haley Cooper, Alicia McRae, Kaycee Robinson, Kayla Coutlee and Shayla George.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cents @ Westside:

Here's the recap of the Cents 5-4 OT loss in Westside from merrittcentennials.com:

West Kelowna, BC - October 4, 2009

Trevor Bailey posted two goals and two assists and Brendan Ellis scored on a power play at 1:45 of overtime to give the Westside Warriors a 5-4 win over the Merritt Centennials on Sunday afternoon.

Westside rallied from a 4-2 third-period deficit to bounce back from a 4-3 loss to Vernon on Friday.

Cam Reid and Grayson Downing also scored for the Warriors while Reid added two assists as well.

Jordan Soquila scored two goals, David Sabey and Alex Valenti also scored for the Centennials, who dropped their second straight game and fifth of their last six. Colton Sobchak chipped in with three assists in the loss. Soquila and Stephen Wall now have assists in two straight games.

Keith Hamilton played the whole game -- his first start with the Centennials since being signed on Friday -- and stopped 44 shots, earning first star honours.

Cam Gorchynski stopped 18 of 22 shots to earn his first career BCHL win in his first career start.

Merritt was 1 for 2 on the power play while Westside went 2 for 3 with the man advantage. The Centennials next game is Tuesday night at home against the Trail Smoke Eaters.

---------------------------
I've also received word that the Cents have made a trade, but I don't know the exact details yet. I should know more tomorrow...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cents Pick Up Hamilton from Portland:


(New Cents goaltender Keith Hamilton)

The Cents added another goaltender to their roster with the acquisition of Keith Hamilton (92) after he was released by the WHL's Portland Winterhawks. With the addition, Norbert Biszczak (90) has been given his release in hopes that he can find a place to play this season. Biszczak had a rough go in the last game he played, but his numbers with North Delta last season showed that he has the talent to be a good goaltender. He also showed flashes of the ability to be a number one goaltender with the Cents, it just remains to be seen whether he lands with another junior A team or returns to junior B.

As for Hamilton, I've received word that he'll be the back up to Cole Holowenko for tomorrow night's game against Salmon Arm. He was a highly touted prospect out of the BC Major Midget League after playing as a 15-year-old for the Okanagan Rockets in 2007-08. Hamilton played 37 games with the Rockets that season and although I've been unable to find what his win-loss record was, I did discover that he played in the MML All-Star Game. He made Portland as a 16-year-old last season and only started seven games for them as the back up. Here's his bio from the Winterhawks website:

"Rookie goaltender saw action in nine games as a rookie, seven of them starts…Had an outstanding debut on Oct. 22/08 at Saskatoon, earning a 4-3 overtime win…Stopped 30 of 33 shots in the contest…Followed up with 37 saves two nights later in Regina in a loss…Made 33 saves in a loss at first-place Vancouver on Nov. 16/08…In his final appearance of the season in his hometown of Kelowna on Mar. 11/09, he made a career-high 45 saves in a loss against the eventual WHL champs."

------------------
On another note, the Centennials have officially released forwards Gary Rai (90) and Thomas Hardy (91). Rai wasn't with the team due to personal reasons. I'm not sure if he's left hockey altogether or if he'll turn up on another team. I know he played a couple of games last season as an AP with Burnaby. Hardy quit the BCHL to go back to school.