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Game Preview – Cents at Warriors – Mar 26

Date – Saturday, March 26, 2022

Game Time – Puck drop 7:00 pm

Location – Royal LePage Place, West Kelowna B.C.

Broadcast – Q101 & BCHLTV

West Kelowna Warriors – 36-16-1-0

Merritt Centennials – 3-45-2-2

The Merritt Centennials continue to season concluding road trip tonight in West Kelowna to battle with the Warriors. The Cents and Warriors have not particularly liked each other this season with multiple games including fights, scrums, and ejections.

Friday night’s game in Chilliwack was dominated by the Chiefs, as they would skate away with a 6-0 win on home ice.

It would be an even attack from the Chiefs who controlled the flow of play for the vast majority of the contest, starting early in the first period when Brett Rylance would score his first of the night, assists to Ethan Bowen and Abram Wiebe. Later in the period Kienan Draper would net his first of two to extend the lead.

Two goals per period would be the theme of the night for Chilliwack as they would again strike twice in the middle stanza. Dawson Good scored a goal of the year candidate, between the legs top corner beauty past Hicks. And Rylance would score his second late in the period.

The game would take a turn in the final 20, with multiple players being shown to the showers early. First Wiebe received a blow to the head minor plus a misconduct. Then Josh Olson and Chad Muller would get 4 minutes each for rough and misconducts to get the gate early. Later in the frame Mark Thurston would be ejected for a blow to the head major and a game.

A weak scrap would break out in the dying minutes between Will Bowman and Draper, no real punches thrown but both combatants were sent off.

Through all that carnage, Chilliwack would add two more goals from Liam Tanner, and Draper to win 6-0.

Hicks stopped 28/34 however the shot clock was suspect all night.

The Warriors enter play tonight winners of nine in a row, looking to keep the streak alive as they prepare to enter the playoffs. Last night, West K showed composure blowing a lead to the Penticton Vees but winning the contest in overtime. The top offensive threat for West K is suspended in Felix Trudeau, leaving Tyler Cristall as the top scorer with 57 points.

The Warriors have nothing left to play for tonight, they are locked into the third seed in the Interior and will face the Vernon Vipers in round 1.

Previous meetings;

The Cents and Warriors have already played seven times this season, with West K winning all six games by large scorelines. The Warriors have scored a minimum of six goals in every matchup this year. Last time out between the two sides, emotions ran high, and Felix Trudeau earned a five game suspension after getting a gross misconduct.

Blue Paint Battle;

John Hicks is now 0-16-3 with a .893 SV% and 5.30 GAA.

Jackson Baker is 0-10 with a .855 SV% and a 7.40 GAA after getting an early hook on Friday night at home.

Also joining the Cents for the stretch run is AP goalie Payton Trzaska. The goalie played for the Princeton Posse this season in the KIJHL, posting a 10-8 record with a 3.20 GAA and .914 SV%. With Merritt he is 0-1, 5.17 GAA and a .898 SV%.

The Warriors have two goaltenders with solid numbers this season. Justin Katz is 12-5 with a 2.45 GAA and a .921 SV%. Johnny Derrick is 24-11-1 with a .902 SV% and 3.02 GAA.

Special Teams Comparison;

Warriors – PP 24.4% (6/18) PK 82.5% (5/18)

Cents – PP 11.3% (18/18) PK 67.9% (18/18)