The Merritt Centennials were in it until the final frame against the Chilliwack Chiefs, where they pulled away on the strength of the powerplay for a 7-1 final.
In the first period the Chiefs made good on a couple goals in quick succession from Arlo Merritt and Minnesota Wild draft pick Nikita Nesterenko to make it 2-0. The Cents had a goal from Matt Osadick called off after it was ruled the net had gone off it’s moorings before the puck crossed the line. The Cents weren’t able to convert on their chances including a pair of chances up 2 men on the powerplay in the first and shots after 1 were 13-12 Chiefs.
The second period saw the Cents start off with 4 minutes of a major penalty to work, but couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net. 5-on-5 things settled down, but a seeing-eye shot from Brody Gagno made it 3-0 late in the 2nd. Shots after 2 were 24-23 in favour of the Chiefs.
The final frame saw the Chiefs begin to pull away after converting on an early powerplay goal from Brett Willets that went off his skate from the left dot and floated into the net made it 4-0. Joey Larson, Tyler Cristall, and Carter Wilkie all added goals while the Cents only answer came shorthanded from Chase Nameth scoring against his former club. The final was 7-1, and a final the Cents will have to quickly forget says Head Coach Derek Sweet Coulter.
“This is one that you don’t even want to look at in the rearview. Keep the eyes on the future, learn from this game, and move on to be ready for the next test.”
The next test comes against the Wenatchee Wild – a double-header on Friday and Saturday in Wenatchee.