Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cents Acquire Forward Blaine Bokenfohr, Sign Forward Cody Heinen as an AP:

The Cents have picked up 20 year old forward Blaine Bokenfohr from the Dawson Creek Rage of the NAHL and signed 18 year old forward Cody Heinen as an affiliate player.

I'll have more on the Bokenfohr acquisition later tonight with Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce and Blaine himself.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cents Offer Fans A Free Gift During Friday's Santa Claus Parade:


Merritt, BC - November 22, 2010

The Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce that in the spirit of Merritt's 8th Annual Country Christmas celebrations, the organization will be giving out a limited number of free tickets to the game on Friday, November 26th during the Santa Claus Light-Up Parade.

"With the parade starting right before our game, we decided to give residents an early Christmas gift of a free ticket to that night's match-up against Prince George," said Cents Marketing Manager Maddison Canuel. "Although the number of free tickets is limited, we hope that once the parade is over, everyone will come to the arena to cheer on our hometown team to victory!"

For further information, please contact Cents Marketing Manager Maddison Canuel at 250-378-3604.

Cents Doubled 4-2 in Penticton:


Penticton, BC - November 24, 2010

The Merritt Centennials played their fifth game in seven days in a 4-2 loss to the Penticton Vees Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Steve Tresierra with a shorthanded goal, and Jeff Jones scored for the Centennials while Billy Marshall picked up an assist in the loss.

Logan Johnston, Joey Holka and Joey Laleggia had the Penticton goals.

Lino Chimienti kicked out 36 Vees shots to earn second star honours despite the Merritt loss. Joel Rumpel stopped 24 Centennials shots to record the win.

The Cents went 0/4 on the power play and Penticton was 1/6 with the man advantage.

Merritt's next game is back on home ice Friday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena against the Prince George Spruce Kings to kick of its' annual Parents' Weekend.  

Penticton Vees at 6:12 - Joey Laleggia from Curtis Loik and Kyle Mountain
Merritt Centennials at 14:37 (SH) - Steve Tresierra (unassisted) 
Merritt Centennials at 4:25 - Jeff Jones from Billy Marshall
Penticton Vees at 7:20 - Joey Holka from Curtis Loik
Penticton Vees at 10:43 (PP) - Logan Johnston from Tyler Hlookoff
Penticton Vees at 18:46 - Mark MacMillan from Brendan O'Donnell and James Polk

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cents fall 3-2 in Alberni:


Port Alberni, BC - November 21, 2010

The Merritt Centennials put an end to a grueling stretch of four games in five days with a 3-2 loss at the Weyerhauser Arena against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday afteroon.

Billy Marshall and Steve Tresierra scored for the Cents while Jeff Jones, Max Vallis and Kameran Crawford each had assists in the loss.

Brandon Adams had the winner for the Bulldogs. Brothers Josh and Sam Mitchell each also scored in the victory.

Lino Chimienti was strong in goal once again for Merritt, making 33 saves despite the loss. Frank Slubowski kicked out 24 Centennials shots to get the win for Alberni Valley.

Both teams went 1/3 on the power play.

The Cents are now winless against the Bulldogs since January 28, 2006. Merritt hasn't won in Alberni Valley since November 23, 2003.

The Centennials continue their stretch of five straight road games on Wednesday in Penticton.


Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 4:26 - Josh Mitchell from Kenney Morrison and Colton Sobchak
Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 10:50 (PP) - Sam Mitchell from Kenney Morrison and Casey Bailey
Merritt Centennials at 18:26 - Billy Marshall from Max Vallis 
Merritt Centennials at 10:14 (PP) - Steve Tresierra from Kameran Crawford and Jeff Jones
Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 12:08 - Brandon Adams from Kyle Weber 
No Scoring

Cents in Alberni Valley:

The Merritt Centennials wrap up their four games swing through Vancouver Island this afternoon in Port Alberni. It's their lone visit of the season to the Weyerhauser Arena to face the Bulldogs.

For AV, it's the third game of a three game home stand that coincides with Parents' Weekend for the Bulldogs. The Dogs are 1-1 on the home stand, including a 3-1 loss Saturday against Nanaimo, the team the Cents blanked 3-0 on Friday.

It was a weird one in Victoria last night for Merritt as the Cents outshot the Grizzlies through 20 minutes by a wide margin (17-9) but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. The Grizz stormed out with three goals in the second period and added another three in the third for the win. Max Vallis had the lone goal for the Centennials, who allowed more than three goals against for the first time in eleven games. It also marked the first time in ten games that the Cents hadn't out shot their opponent (although they did tie Victoria at 45 shots each).

Today's game is the first for Colton Sobchak against his former team. The 20 year old forward from Kelowna was traded by Merritt to Alberni back in the off-season for the always-popular future considerations. Sobchak is well below his pace of almost a point per game as he was with the Centennials last season and is ice cold right now with just one assist in his last four games, but he does have eight points in his last ten games.

The Cents went 0-2 against the Bulldogs last season and haven't beat Alberni Valley since January 28, 2006 (check out the boxscore). They haven't won at the Weyerhauser Arena since November 23, 2003. The boxscore for that game is here.

Catch the game this afternoon on Q101 in Merritt (101.1 FM), www.Q101.ca or www.BCHL.ca. Our pre-game show with Alex Grebenyuk starts at 2 pm with the opening faceoff at 2:30.

Cents Line Up This Afternoon vs. Alberni Valley:

I suspected there would be a couple of line up changes for the Cents after last night's 6-1 loss in Victoria. Although I don't know the exact combinations, here's what the line up is for Merritt today in Port Alberni.




Scratches: Muir (AP), Fletcher

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cents Line Up vs. Victoria:

Coming off a solid game last night, the Centennials aren't making any changes to their line up tonight, except for in goal.










Scratches: Lebrun, Sabourin

Cents in Victoria Tonight:

Tonight the Centennials play their third game in four days as they make their lone visit to Bear Mountain Arena to face the Victoria Grizzlies.

For the Grizzlies, it's their last game of a three game home stand. They are 2-0 so far, with both wins coming in overtime.

The Cents want to keep things rolling as they posted their first shutout of the season and Lino Chimienti's first of his BCHL career last night with a 3-0 win over Nanaimo. Although I didn't see the game, from what I've heard, the Cents played as close to a perfect road game as possible in getting the victory. Not sure of any lineup changes tonight as I'm awaiting an email from Luke Pierce confirming who's in and who's out tonight. Dustin Lebrun and Richard Sabourin sat out last night, but from what I understand, both are healthy and Luke was planning to sit out the odd guy during the trip with so many games in such a short period of time.

Tonight's game marks the first match-up for Dustin Johnson against his former team and first meeting of the season between Merritt and Victoria. They'll lock horns at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Wed. December 1. Johnson was traded by the Cents to Victoria last month. Brett Kolins was picked up from the Grizzlies in that deal and didn't report to Merritt, he's playing junior 'B' hockey in the PIJHL. Johnson, meanwhile, is maintaining the same pace with Victoria that he had with the Cents, compiling 12 points (6g, 6a) in 14 games.

Merritt was 0-2 against Victoria last season and hasn't beat the Grizzlies since December 10, 2006, a 6-2 win at home. Check out the boxscore for a blast from the past! The Cents haven't won in Victoria since November 19, 2004, but what a win it was, 8-1 over the then-Salsa.

This season is one of the few for the Centennials in which they don't have any players on their roster from Vancouver Island, so this isn't a homecoming for any of them. Not like when they play Coquitlam/Surrey/Langley, when seven players are playing close to home.

Catch the game tonight on Q101 in Merritt (101.1 FM) or www.Q101.ca or www.BCHL.ca. Pre-game show at 6:45, opening faceoff at 7:15.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cents Line Up Tonight vs. Nanaimo:


Muir (AP)-Crawford


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Capitals 2 Centennials 1:


Merritt Centennials at 6:22 - Stephen Wall from Dustin Lebrun and Jakob Reichert
Cowichan Valley Capitals at 14:57 (PP) - Mike Hammond from Tyler Matheson and Nicholas Wong

No Scoring

Cowichan Valley Capitals at 4:04 - Tyler Jones from Brendon MacDonald and Jordan Grant

The Cents are on a two game losing skid now after tonight's loss. Lino Chimienti made 20 saves for Merritt while Derek Dun kicked out 27 shots for Cowichan Valley.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cents Weekly Recap, Regan Soquila Named BCHL Player of the Week, Movember, World Junior A Challenge, Alumni Update:


I chatted with Cents Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce on Tuesday about the big weekend which saw their power play go 10-for-20 in three straight wins and we also talked about Regan Soquila winning BCHL Player of the Week.


I know I'm a little late on this, but a huge congrats to Cents rookie forward Regan Soquila!


Burnaby, BC - November 8, 2010

Merritt Centennials rookie forward Regan Soquila has been named the British Columbia Hockey League's Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday, November 7th, the league announced Monday.

Soquila helped lead the Centennials to a perfect record on home ice last weekend with wins over Vernon, Westside and Quesnel. On Friday, Soquila was part of a rally that saw the Cents fight back from down from 3-0 entering the third period to win 4-3 in overtime over the defending RBC Cup champs. A night later he assisted on a pair of goals -- including Jeff Jones' game-winner -- in a 6-3 victory over the Warriors. And on Sunday, the 17-year old recorded a hat trick and totaled four points in a 9-3 triumph over the Millionaires.

The Maple Ridge, BC native finished the week with three goals and four assists. He currently sits tops in team scoring with 11 goals and second in points with 19 through 20 games.


Bid on your favourite Centennials player and help fight prostate cancer!


Merritt, BC - November 10, 2010

The Merritt Centennials are proud to announce that November 2010 marks the first annual "Movember" fundraiser for the team.

"Movember" is an international movement where men grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health issues, most notably Prostate Cancer.

As part of "Movember", all of the Cents players will be trying to grow moustaches to raise money for this great cause.

"The entire Centennials organization would like to encourage everyone to participate in the fight against prostate cancer for the month of November," said Cents Marketing Manager Maddison Canuel. "In 2010 alone, over 4400 men will die from this tragic disease and by making a small donation throughout the month we can all do our part to find a cure for prostate cancer."

Men, women and children are encouraged to join the Centennials "Movember" team. This can be done by going to the following website: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/598312/

You can also donate to the Movember Foundation via the aforementioned URL.

November is "Movember" with the Merritt Centennials!


I chatted with Manager of Domestic Events for Hockey Canada Kevin Webster about the recent job postings for Head Coach/GM of Canada West and East for the 2011 World Junior A Challenge and some thoughts on this year's tournament, now underway in Penticton.


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that John Curry and Brad Thiessen of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have been named co-winners of the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month award for October. Curry and Thiessen split the goaltending chores and combined to go 8-0-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage as the Penguins remained the league’s only unbeaten team.

Thiessen (4-0-0, 1.96, .930) and Curry (4-0-0, 1.72, .940) alternated starts, beginning with Thiessen’s 30-save performance in a 4-3 shootout win over Hershey on opening night, Oct. 9. Curry earned his first victory of the season with 25 saves in a 2-1 decision over Adirondack on Oct. 12. Thiessen made 30 saves in three of his four games, while Curry made a season-high 37 stops in a 2-1 shootout victory vs. Binghamton on Oct. 23. In 245 minutes of work each, Thiessen stopped 107 of 115 shots while Curry turned aside 110 of 117. The Penguins finished the month ranked first in the AHL in team defense (1.88 goals allowed per game) and first in penalty killing (93.0 percent).

In recognition of their achievement, Curry and Thiessen will each be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Penguins home game.

Thiessen, a native of Aldergrove, B.C., was 14-14-1 (2.45, .914) with four shutouts in 30 AHL games as a rookie with the Penguins in 2009-10. At Northeastern University, he was one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s outstanding collegiate player in 2008-09.


Jared Andersen, 19, has joined the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Calgary Mustangs after being released by the Centennials last month. Through one game with the Mustangs, Andersen has an 0-1 record with a 5.00 GAA and a .737 save percentage.


From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer:

In an attempt to address the sagging offence the Millionaires acquired the rights to Thomas Hardy, a 18-year-old forward with the Aldergrove Kodiaks of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League.

Hardy, who has 18 goals in 19 games with the Kodiaks, is expected to be in the lineup this weekend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cents Coach & GM Luke Pierce Reacts to Zmurchyk's Decision:

Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce responds to defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk's decision to leave the team and go back to Fernie.

Zmurchyk's departure leaves the Centennials with just one 20-year-old player on their roster in captain Steve Tresierra. Luke mentions in the interview that he's looking to add another 1990-born player to the roster to fill a leadership and experience void.

Cents Defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk Leaves Team:

(Former Cents defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk)

I received word this morning that 20-year-old Centennials defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk has left the team and gone home to Fernie. I'll have reaction from Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce posted later today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Former Cents netminder Jon Groenheyde dealt from Kamloops to Edmonton:

(Former Cents netminder Jon Groenheyde)

Jon Groenheyde, who played six games with the Centennials during the 2007-08 season with a 1-4-0-0 record, a 6.46 GAA and a .835 save percentage, was traded in the WHL today. Here's the release from the WHL website:

Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Oil Kings announced today they have traded 18-year-old goalie Cam Lanigan (Calgary, AB) to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for 19-year-old goalie Jon Groenheyde (Surrey, B.C.).

Groenheyde has spent his entire WHL career with the Blazers, compiling a 15-25-1-2 record and a 4.08 GAA in 52 games during the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The 6-foot-4, 201-pound netminder is 1-5-0-1 so far in eight appearances in 2010-11, with a 3.67 GAA and a .873 save percentage.

Lanigan has played his entire WHL career with the Oil Kings, appearing in 58 games with a 13-23-2-4 record and a 4.08 GAA combined in 2008-09 and 2009-10. In 15 games so far in 2010-11, he has a 4-8-0-1 record with a 3.73 GAA and a .866 save percentage.

"We would like to thank Cam for his services with the Oil Kings, and we wish him the best of luck in Kamloops," Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green said of the trade. "We would also like to welcome Jon to our organization. He brings a lot of experience with him and we're excited to have him in our lineup."

Groenheyde will join the Oil Kings in Prince George as they open a six-game road trip with games against the Cougars on Friday and Saturday, both at 8 p.m. MST.

The trip continues in Chilliwack against the Bruins on Tuesday and in Kelowna against the Rockets on Wednesday. They venture further south to play the Chiefs in Spokane on Friday, Nov. 12, and the trip concludes on Saturday, Nov. 13 against the Ice in Kootenay. The Oil Kings finally return home to Rexall Place to play the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.
Kamloops, BC – Kamloops Blazers General Manager Craig Bonner announced this morning that team has sent 19-year-old goaltender Jon Groenheyde to the Edmonton Oil Kings in exchange for 18-year-old goaltender Cam Lanigan.

“We want to thank Jon for his time with the hockey club,” Bonner said. “We wish him the best of luck with the Oil Kings.”

Groenheyde, a free agent list from Surry, BC, appeared in 60 games with the Blazers starting in the 2007-08 season.

Lanigan, who is from Calgary, BC, was originally a 6th round bantam pick to the Oil Kings in 2007. He has played in 74 games with the Oil Kings over the past two and a half seasons.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cents Weekly Recap with Cents Coach/GM Luke Pierce:


I chatted with Cents Head Coach and GM Luke Pierce on yesterday's morning show about last weekend's road trip up north and the upcoming games this weekend.

Interesting to note in the interview that Luke says the players have been essentially put "on notice" that with a month before the December 1st carding deadline, they need to show from within that this is the group the coaching staff should move forward with. We'll see this weekend how the team responds.