The Merritt Centennials found themselves in a 3 goal hole once again, but couldn’t climb themselves out on home ice in a 5-3 defeat.
In the first period, the Cents and Silverbacks traded chances but no one could find a foothold early on. It wasn’t until a broken play in front led to a chance to the side for Luke Mylymok and he was able to put it past Marshall for the first of the evening. The Cents couldn’t find an answer in the first. Shots after one were low, but in favour of SA 12-6.
As was the case the night previous, Salmon Arm jumped out to an early lead in the middle frame. Logan Shaw was able to pick the pocket of Jerzy Orchard after an ill advised pass from Ayden Lane found his feet. Shaw stole the puck and then sniped low on Marshall to make it 2-0. The ‘Backs then got another from Mylymok as he had three cracks to the side of the net and was successful on the third try chipping it up and over Marshall to make it 3-0. After the BCHL media timeout, the Cents were able to get it together. Evan Benwell tipped home a Brody Johnston point shot, and then with the Cents on the PP birthday boy Hunor Torzsok was able to do the same. The Cents found themselves back within one, but then took themselves off to the penalty kill once more with Josh Van Unen being charged a double minor. The Silverbacks were able to score to restore the two goal lead, and make it 4-2 after 2. Shots were 36-26 Silverbacks.
Talon Zakall got the Centennials the early goal they needed in the third period after blasting one from the line earl on, and the Cents looked to be back on the comeback trail. Once again, the Cents gave Salmon Arm a powerplay, and once again Salmon Arm converted to make it 5-3. The Cents tried to pull the keeper, but it couldn’t spark the offense and the Silverbacks hung on. Final Shots were 44-37 Salmon Arm.
After the game, Derek Sweet Coulter says the teams playing the right way, they just need to avoid those mistakes.
“We are playing hard, we aren’t giving up, we are battling to the end. It’s the little mistakes that cost us. A turnover here, a penalty there. We need to try and learn from those mistakes and grow as a team.”
The Cents will look to right the ship against the Vernon Vipers on Tuesday night at the NVMA.