Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cents Featured in BCHL Insider Newsletter:

The Centennials are featured in today's BCHL Insider Newsletter.

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Here's the write-up:

Tresierra and Pierce key to turnaround taking place with Merritt Centennials

Of all the things that make for a successful hockey club, many point to strong defensive play, executing systems or success on special teams. But the locker room culture created by a coaching staff and leading players is probably as important as any of that.

In Merritt, the Centennials haven't had the success they've wanted over the last few seasons but lately things have been looking up for the club. Coach Luke Pierce has led the team to a 7-3 record in their last ten games and the team's leaders have pushed a young team into playoff position.

"We had a major changeover in the offseason," said Pierce, who is one of the youngest coaches in the league at 27. "We had to change the culture and identity of our hockey club.

"I think if you look at the team I took over last year, it was probably more talented than this year but for me, the biggest thing is finding guys who are excited to play in the BCHL and in Merritt."

One of those players is captain Steve Tresierra. The Golden, B.C. native is in his fourth BCHL season and is showing the way for his young teammates.

"Steve has been absolutely vital to our success," said Pierce, a former Vernon Viper. "Without Steve, it would have been difficult to rebuild here; he's been key to everything we've done."

Leading scorer Jeff Jones and goalie Lino Chimienti are also players Pierce points to in explaining the club's resurgence. Talk about culture shock.

The Cents' next action is Friday when they visit the Trail Smoke Eaters. You can watch the game on BCHL Live Web TV at http://bchl.neulion.com/bchl/

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