Friday, December 31, 2010

Former Smoke Eater Travis Roche Named to All-Star Team as Canada Settles for Silver at Spengler Cup:

St. Petersburg's Maxim Sushinsky celebrates a goal past Canadian goalkeeper Jeff Deslauriers in the Spengler Cup final. (Arno Balzarini/Keystone/Getty Images)

Former NHL players Alexei Yashin and Maxim Afinogenov scored second-period goals to lead SKA St. Petersburg past Canada 4-3 in the Spengler Cup final Friday.

It marks the third straight year a Russian team has captured the tournament title.

Canada was making its ninth championship appearance in 11 years and its 12th championship overall but first since 2007.

Yashin, on the power play, and Afinogenov scored to give SKA St. Petersburg a 3-1 lead after Micki Dupont pulled the Canadians into a 1-1 tie.

Canada's Brett McLean cut the Russian squad's lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 18:38 of the third.

But captain Maxim Sushinsky scored his second of the game into the empty net at 18:57 to restore SKA St. Petersburg's two-goal advantage.

Josh Holden pulled Canada to within a goal again but only with two seconds remaining in regulation time.

Canada's Jeff Deslauriers captured the tournament's top goalie award while Travis Roche (Trail, 1996-98) was named one of its best defencemen.

The Canadian team was attempting to earn the victory playing its fifth game in as many days.

The Spengler Cup, which debuted in 1923, is the world's oldest pro hockey tournament.

SKA St. Petersburg finished the tournament undefeated, winning all four of its games although the Russians had to rally from a 3-0 deficit to beat Geneve-Servette 4-3 in the semifinals Thursday.

The Canadians advanced to the final with a 4-0 semifinal win over host HC Davos.

(The Canadian Press)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cents Fall 3-2 in Trail:

The Cents lost 3-2 in Trail tonight in what was one of their best played games of the season.

Here's the recap from MerrittCentennials.com:

Trail, BC - December 30, 2010

The Merritt Centennials three-game winning streak came to an end with a 3-2 loss in Trail Thursday against the Smoke Eaters.

The Smokies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Eric Walker, Scott Jacklin and Sam Mellor before Jeff Jones, on a power play, drew the Centennials to within two goals before the first intermission.

Sean Maktaak scored for Merritt on a Kiefer Smiley gaffe late in the second period to make the score 3-2 for Trail after 40 minutes. The Cents outshot the Smoke Eaters 22-3 in the third period, but Smiley was outstanding to preserve the win.

Merritt finished the night with a 51-15 advantage on the shot clock. Lino Chimienti started the game for the Centennials, allowing three goals on four shots before being replaced by Tyler Steel, who was perfect with 11 saves. Kiefer Smiley earned first star honours, making 49 saves for Trail.

The Cents finished the game 1-for-6 on the power play while the Smoke Eaters went 1-for-4.

Merritt's next game is on Saturday at home against the Quesnel Millionaires. Game time is 7:30 pm at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

Cents coach/GM Luke Pierce joined Q101 play-by-play announcer Alex Grebenyuk on our post-game show.

Cents @ Smoke Eaters Preview:


Merritt (14-18-0-5) @ Trail (22-16-1-1)

Tonight is the fifth meeting of the season and second straight between the Merritt Centennials and Trail Smoke Eaters. Tonight is the Cents first road game since December 10th while Trail is playing their second straight home game.

Last Game Played: Saturday, December 18 - Merritt won 3-2

Next Games:
Saturday, January 1: Quesnel @ Merritt
Sunday, January 2: Trail @ Salmon Arm

Let's take a look at the Merritt Centennials:

Games Played: 37
Wins: 14
Losses: 18
Ties: 0
Overtime Losses: 5
Home Record: 10-5-0-3
Road Record: 4-13-0-2
Streak: Three game winning streak
Last Ten Games: 6-4-0-0
Goals For: 101
Goals Against: 131
Standings: 6th place

Since the 2003-04 season Merritt is 21-24-1-2 vs. Trail

Since the 2003-04 season Merritt is 14-9-0-2 at home vs. Trail

Since the 2003-04 season Merritt is 7-15-1-0 in Trail

Merritt is 3-7-0-0 in its last 10 visits to the Cominco Arena

Merritt is 6-4 in its last 10 games vs. Trail

Merritt’s last win in Trail was a 4-3 overtime victory back on Wednesday, December 30, 2009.

SCORING SUMMARY
PERIOD 1
Merritt Centennials at 18:56 (PP) - Andrew Pickering from Dustin Johnson and Jordan Soquila
Trail Smoke Eaters at 12:21 - Darnell Dyck from Scott Jacklin and Curtis Tonello
Trail Smoke Eaters at 9:39 (PP) - Scott Jacklin from Tommy Rizzardo and Sam Mellor
PERIOD 2
Merritt Centennials at 18:04 - Derek Hills from Jordan Soquila and Jeff Jones
Trail Smoke Eaters at 7:38 - Sam Mellor from Scott Jacklin and Nick Sandor
PERIOD 3
Merritt Centennials at 16:35 - Dustin Johnson from Derek Hills and Jordan Soquila
OVERTIME PERIOD 1
Merritt Centennials at 2:53 - Silvan Harper from Derek Hills and Jeff Zmurchyk

Former Centennials on the Smoke Eaters:
D Jake Baker (0g, 10a in 63 career games with Merritt)
F Scott Jacklin (Didn't report to Merritt after being acquired in January 2009)

Centennials power play vs. Trail this season: 5/21
Centennials home record vs. Trail this season: 2-0
Centennials road record vs. Trail this season: 0-2

Cents scoring leaders vs. Trail this season:
Regan Soquila (2-3-5)
Jeff Jones (1-4-5)
Steve Tresierra (0-3-3)
Evan Stack (2-0-2)
Blaine Bokenfohr (1-1-2)
Sean Maktaak (1-1-2)
Dustin Lebrun (1-1-2)
Reece Willcox (1-0-1)
Max Vallis (1-0-1)
Billy Marshall (0-1-1)
Brandon Pfeil (0-1-1)
Kameran Crawford (0-1-1)

Lino Chimienti (2-0)
Tyler Steel (0-1)

Let's take a look at the Trail Smoke Eaters:

Games Played: 40
Wins: 22
Losses: 16
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 14-5-0-1
Road Record: 8-11-1-0
Streak: Three game losing streak
Last Ten Games: 3-6-1-0
Goals For: 132
Goals Against: 120
Standings: 5th Place

Former Smoke Eaters on the Centennials: none

Smoke Eaters power play vs. Merritt this season: 3/17
Smoke Eaters home record vs. Merritt this season: 2-0
Smoke Eaters road record vs. Merritt this season: 0-2

Trail's scoring leaders vs. Merritt this season:
Travis St. Denis (3-3-6)
Scott Jacklin (2-4-6)
Sam Mellor (3-2-5)
Cullen Bradshaw (3-2-5)
Paul Mailey (1-3-4)
Adam Boytinck (1-2-3)
Rajan Sidhu (0-3-3)
Logan Proulx (1-1-2)
Curtis Tonell (1-0-1)
Ben Matthews (1-0-1)
Ryan Luiten (1-0-1)
Jason Nash (0-1-1)
Ben Greenaway (0-1-1)

Kiefer Smiley (2-0)
Matt Larose (0-2)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Former Cents Forward Ryan Aynsley Leaves Smoke Eaters:

It looks like Jake Baker and Scott Jacklin are the only two former Centennials the current team will face tomorrow in Trail. As reported on Jon Zacks' Smoke Eaters blog, Ryan Aynsley has left the Smokies to return to Castlegar of the KIJHL.

Missing from Trail’s lineup on Tuesday was Ryan Aynsley. It sounds like he’s heading back to Castlegar to rejoin the Rebels. Jim Ingram has confirmed it for me, but I’ll try to get you more in the next day or two.

I'll have a Cents-Smoke Eaters game preview posted later today or tomorrow.

Monday, December 27, 2010

BCHL Alumni Helps Lead Canada over Spartak Moscow:

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Martin Kariya (Victoria, 1998-99), Yanick Lehoux and Micki Dupont scored second-period goals as Canada opened the Spengler Cup with a 6-1 win over Spartak Moscow on Monday.

Eric Landry, Glen Metropolit (Vernon, 1994-95) and Josh Holden had the other goals for Canada (1-0).

Alexander Yunkov had the lone goal for Spartak (1-1).

Former NHL star Mark Messier is the head coach of the Canadian squad, whose roster is mainly comprised of players currently skating in Europe

Also on Monday, Geneve-Servette nipped Sparta Prague 4-3.

After a scoreless first period, the Canadians took control of the game in the second by beating former NHL star goalie Dominik Hasek three times.

Canada faces the host Davos team Tuesday.

(The Canadian Press)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

BCHL Alumni Set for Spengler Cup:

(Canada's jersey at the 2010 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland)

Three players who skated in the BCHL are set to play for Team Canada at the 2010 Spengler Cup.

Martin Kariya (Victoria, 1998-99), Glen Metropolit (Vernon, 1994-95), and Travis Roche (Trail, 1996-98) are among the 24 players who'll wear the Maple Leaf as Canada tries to win the tournament for the first time since 2007.

Canada opens the tournament - which has been held since 1923 - tomorrow against host team HC Davos, which beat Russian club Spartak Moscow 4-2 today.

Fernie Adds Two Players with Ties to Merritt:

The KIJHL's Fernie Ghostriders continue to load up for a Cyclone Taylor Cup championship run this spring as the host team.

The Ghostriders have added two players who have ties to the Centennials.

First, forward Briar McNaney (93), who attended Cents training camp both this past August and the year before has joined Fernie as an affiliate player after being released by Creston Valley. McNaney, who's from Merritt, has ten points in 31 games this season.

Second, forward Luke Richardson (90), who was signed by the Cents as an affiliate player last season after attending their training camp in August, was picked up from the Kelowna Chiefs. Richardson has been a scoring force in the KIJHL during his career, notching 125 points in 121 career games. Here's the word from the Ghostriders:
We have acquired Luke Richardson, 5'10", 165 from the Kelowna Chiefs for future considerations. We are excited to add Luke to our line-up as he comes to us with experience as he won a gold medal last year at the Keystone Cup with the Revelstoke Grizzlies. Luke was named the MVP of the Keystone Cup. Richardson is a proven playoff performer with 14 goals, 22 assists in 34 games. Luke has experience in both the Cycone Taylor Cup and the Keystone Cup. We are really excited to add Luke to our line-up.

Both Richardson and McNaney join former Centennials assistant captain Jeff Zmurchyk, former affiliate players Scott Morisseau and Evan Burgess, and former try-outs Jordan Hirano and Josh McSkimming on Fernie's roster.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The First Annual Merry Centennials Christmas!

It's been nearly a month since I posted anything on the blog, and not because of a shortage of things to talk about in relation to the Centennials, but because things have been just crazy for me through December. I apologize for my lack of posting and I'm making it my New Year's resolution to be more diligent in finding time to post.

And with that, here is my gift to you: the first annual Merry Centennials Christmas. ENJOY!



I'll have more over the Christmas break on the roll the Cents are on right now, I hope you have an amazing holiday season!