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Cents Finish Strong, But Fall To Silverbacks

The Merritt Centennials went out on their shields in their final game of the season, but ultimately fell to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3-2.

In the first period the Silverbacks opened the scoring on the powerplay with a goal from Rybarik to make it 1-0. Captain Rylan Van Unen quickly answered for the Cents after being set up by Manty and Matsui in front he went top corner hockey for the final goal of his Junior career. Ryan Winter kept the team in it throughout the first with timely saves when they were under fire with 22 shots from the ‘Backs. Christian Buono was able to score off a faceoff play to give the Cents the one goal lead despite spending a lot of the period in their own zone.

The second period was filled with neutral zone play, back and forth,but neither team could find a foot hold. Then with the Centennials on a late powerplay a shot rung round for a short handed break out and William Poirier scored for the Silverbacks. The mental mistakes continued for the Cents as shortly thereafter Salmon Arm would add another in the goal mouth from Unruh to make it 3-2.

Despite a big push from the Centennials in the third period, they couldn’t find the back of the net and the Silverbacks would hang on for the win.

Ryan Winter made 37/40 saves in his final junior game.

After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet Coulter said that he was proud of the effort the team showed in the final game and throughout the season.

“The boys showed through this final stretch what kind of team they were. With all the changes throughout the year it took us a while to figure out what kind of identity we had. I’m proud of the effort they showed throughout this final stretch.”

The Cents would like to thank the fans who stuck with them through thick and thin throughout the season.