Cents Stun On-A-Roll Clippers

The Merritt Centennials did the incredible on the night of Saturday, December 16th, by stunning second-place in the coastal division Nanaimo Clippers 3-2 at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. The Centennials put up a phenomenal performance before their home fans to halt the Clippers’ five-game winning spree and put an end to their four consecutive losses.

The Merritt Centennials took an early lead after red-hot Michael Felsing made full use of his position to open the scoring in the fifth minute of the first period. The Cents also took the second goal of the opening period from Charles-Thomas Larochelle in the fourteenth minute. Both goals were unassisted. The Clippers did outshoot the Centennials throughout the first thirteen to nine, but the Cents were able to convert more chances and earn the lead. As expected, the Clippers came out hard in the second period and found success, earning their first goal of the game in the sixth minute from Mike Murtagh. Heading to the powerplay at the end of the second frame, the Cents came back at the start of the third and capitalized on their man advantage, with Felsing scoring his second goal of the game, assisted by Dylan Lariviere. The Clippers were soon to follow, though, with Murtagh again putting one in the back of the net for his second goal of the evening. Throughout most of the third period, the Cents maintained possession of the puck, limiting the Clippers’ chance at a comeback. With the final two and a half minutes in the game, a penalty to both teams provided fans with an edge-of-your-seat contest.

The two back-to-back wins against top-ranked teams like Nanaimo Clippers and Alberni Valley Bulldogs provided much-needed ammo to the seventh-placed Cents as they improve their standing following the Christmas break. Head Coach and Assistant General Manager Brian Passmore was pleased with the team’s effort. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way than this to go into the break. We beat two very good teams back to back, which gave us a big boost when we come back from the break. We were good in our passing and defence and scored two goals on the power play. We need a few more consecutive wins to improve our standings,” said Passmore.

The Cents look to continue their winning success following the holiday break on December 29th when they head to Surrey to face the Eagles. Catch all the action on FloHockey and Q101 Merritt.

Game Coverage and story by Sports Writer Harit Joshi
Cover Photo by Christina Jean Photography