Game 2 of the double header goes tonight as the Centennials (4-13) look to bump a 3 game slump against the Wenatchee Wild (10-8-1-1) tonight.
The Centennials had a solid opening frame down in Wenatchee and did everything but score. Chances went off the side of the net, a powerplay nearly converted, goaltending was strong, and the Cents ran most of the course of play. However, it was the Wild who would score against the grain as leading scorer Nick Cafarelli drove wide on the wraparound then got a bounce off Brophy Dunne’s skate and in to make it 1-0.
The 2nd period didn’t see the Cents come out with as much fire, and a giveaway at center led to the puck in the Cents net. Joey Berkopec threw the puck up ice from the defensive zone, but it landed on the stick of Drake Usher and he walked right up the middle and ripped a shot from between the hashmarks that beat Marshall upstairs to make it 2-0. Josh Kagan and the Cents were able to answer late in the period when Kagan went down the left wing and fired a shot through the legs of Noah Altman to make it 2-1.
The Cents came out in the third with some fire, and after surviving the minute to win it scored the equalizer. Josh Kagan found Brett Roloson in front and Roloson baffled the goalie by putting it on net with a one handed poke to make it 2-2. Then the Wild woke up and really started going to work. Cafarelli found Harrison Scott to make it 3-2, then Brian Adams bulged the twine in front on a goal that was initially called off, and Hunter Hastings added the icing with another. In the span of 5 minutes the Cents went to having the game in their grasp to falling too far behind. The team needs to be better at not allowing those lapses of strong play to last too long, and not allow the swings in momentum to be too great.
Wenatchee will most likely stick with Noah Altman in the crease as Daniel Chenard is down with injury and they are using an emergency back up. The top line of Cafarelli, Young, and Adams really stirred the drink for the Wild last night, and the Cents can’t get too focused on the puck carrier like they did a few times when that line was on the ice.
Josh Kagan picked up two more points and continues to pace the offense with 17 points. Payton Matsui was held off the scoresheet, but has 12 points, and Brett Rolson and Daniel Tkac bumped their mini slumps and sit at 10 points each.
Nick Cafarelli is the star that the Cents have to watch out for on the Wild, he has 19 points. Tyler Young is the set up man with 15 assists and 18 points. Captain Brian Adams and Brett Chorske both have 16 points.
The Cents had a good looking powerplay last night, and played very disciplined in a game that only had 3 penalties in total. However, they were unable to bump their slump, but for the first time in a long time they did not allow a powerplay goal against.
Powerplay: Penalty Kill:
Cents – 5.4% (17th) Cents – 67.6% (17th)
Wild – 23.5% (3rd) Wild – 78.3% (12th)
The goaltending duel sees another likely swap in net tonight. Ryan Winter is 2-8 with a .907 SV%, a 3.83 GAA, and 1 shutout. Tanner Marshall is 2-5 with a .885 SV% and a 4.16 GAA.
Noah Altman will likely get the call again for Wenatchee. He’s 4-4 with an .884 SV% and a 3.50 GAA.
Head Coach Derek Sweet Coulter says that the team needs to push back during those fragile moments.
“When we let a goal in the natural response is to hang your head, but we need to make sure that at those times we are pushing back and looking to get back in the game.”
The Cents will look to push back with a win tonight.
Puck drop 7pm from the Town Toyota Center. Pre-Game 6:45 with Jared Thomas on Q101 and HockeyTV.