The Merritt Centennials gave it all they had, including a powerplay goal, against the Wenatchee Wild but couldn’t quite find the equalizer in a 6-4 final.
The Cents didn’t come out with the same jump they had the night previous, and the Wild were able to pounce. Hunter Hastings scored 5 minutes in to make it 1-0, and the Cents had a powerplay that looked good but couldn’t convert to keep it scoreless. Shots after 1 were 15-7 as Marshall held the Cents in it early in his second consecutive start.
The 2nd period starting off more to the Cents liking. Josh Kagan swept his stick at the blueline to cause a turnover, picked the puck up, and then deked Altman out of his shorts to tie the game at 1-1. After tying the game, the Cents took their foot off the pedal and the Wild were able to bounce back with two unanswered goals from Trevor Griebel and Tyler Young. Then Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter put three of the four top scorers on a line together in Kagan, Tkac, and Roloson and it started to pay dividends. Brett Roloson was the dish master as he put the puck on a platter for Daniel Tkac and he smacked it home past Altman to bring the Cents within one at 3-2. Just over two minutes later, it was the youngest Cent Tyson Galloway scoring his first BCHL goal to tie the game. He drove the net, and again Roloson was able to feather a pass to make it 3-3. Shots after 2 periods were 26-11 Wenatchee.
After battling for the tie, it was the Wild who came out strong to start the third. Scoring just two minutes in and then adding another goal before the 5 minute mark to get a two goal lead. The Cents to their credit didn’t give up, and slowly started to turn the tide. They didn’t convert on their second opportunity of the game, but third time was the charm as with Tanner Main in the box, Troy Quinn was able to snipe one from the blue line that went top corner to bring the Cents within 1. Unfortunately, that would be as close as they’d get because with the net empty the Wild were able to ice the game to make it a 6-4 final. Marshall was swapped with Winter after allowing the 5th goal to try and spark the team. Marshall stopped 26/31 while Winter stopped 5/5.
After the game, Derek Sweet Coulter said it was good to see the fight and compete in the guys.
“We are starting to come together as a team, and even though the result wasn’t there the effort was. We went winless but there was a lot of positives from this game.”
The Cents look to reset for a home and home against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks next weekend on Friday and Saturday night.