The Cents had one of their most successful seasons in 30 years, and with that comes the unfortunate reality that some of the best players to don a Centennials crest will be leaving for the next step in their hockey careers in the NCAA. In the coming weeks we will give one final salute to the young men who served the Cents in the 2018/19 season.
Christian Sabin gave his all for two seasons in the Centennials red, black, and white, and is a player that has a great combination of old school grit, with the new wave of speed and skill. He can play up and down the line up, grind the opposition down, has a nose for the net, and can also dish a good pass.
A native of New Hudson, Michigan, Sabin was groomed in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League where he played for Victory Honda. With the U18 team he really hit his stride picking up 22 points (8 goals) in his first season, and then improving to 30 points (16 goals) in his second year before coming to the Centennials.
Director of Hockey Operations Brian Barrett recalls that Sabin reminded him a bit of the BCHL he used to coach in.
“He has a way about him. He doesn’t take any crap, he plays with heart, and he’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas.”
Sabin says that his first memories of Merritt were mainly how inviting everyone around the team was.
“The first thing I noticed was how welcoming the community and team was when I first arrived in Merritt.”
Like many players making the jump to the BCHL, and many players in their first year with a club, Sabin had to earn his keep and get adjusted to the speed of the game. He was able to get into 44 games in his first campaign while putting up 7 goals and 8 assists. Despite not blowing the doors down offensively, Sabin proved that he could be a tough player to play against, could work in a shut down role, or could step up offensively. Sabin got to show off more of his offensive assets in his second year with the Centennials, and provided the perfect compliment to one of the best Centennials lines in recent memory skating alongside Brad Cocca and Nick Granowicz. He was an iron man for the Cents, getting into all 58 games and over doubling his point total and goal total from the year prior with 37 points (15 goals). He was named the Centennials Unsung Hero for his hard work over the year,
Governor Barrett says that Sabin was a guy that could be used in all situations.
“You don’t get to be named Unsung Hero without being able to come up big when called upon. Whether it was when we needed some sand paper, or some offense, you could count on Christian to step up.”
Sabin has nothing but high praise for the Cents and the BCHL especially in regards to what every team is looking for now.
“I feel like my skating has improved a tremendous amount since the start of my first year, and the quickness of the BCHL prepared me to make smart quick decisions at the next level.”
Next season Sabin will suit up for the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Barrett says the school is getting a competitor.
“There’s one thing you can’t teach, and that’s compete, who wants it more. That’s one thing you never have to question about Sabin’s game.”
Sabin says that the fans in Merritt are the one thing he’ll hold dear as he moves on to the next level.
“I’ll never forget winning a home game and skating around the glass with the team. Seeing all the fan support after our wins is something I will remember forever.”
The Milwaukee School of Engineering is a top 10 engineering school in the United States and Sabin will compete in arguably the top conference in NCAA Division 3. The Cents wish Sabin and his family all the best as he moves forward with his career, and thank them for their contributions to the Centennials organization.