The Merritt Centennials coaching staff have named their top playoff performers after the team’s unfortunate first round exit to the Trail Smoke Eaters.
This year Payton Matsui and Matt Kopperud will both get recognized for their stellar play in the post season.
Matsui has been a spark plug all year long with his tenacity on the forecheck and ability to turn pucks over, and that didn’t chance in the post season. He set up Rylan Van Unen in game 2 to bring the Cents back level, used his speed to the outside to find Daniel Tkac in game 3, and had his best game of the playoffs and arguably the year in game 4 with a shorthanded goal and an assist.
Kopperud was the top offensive threat on the team through the series, and was always looking to create with quick puck movement, a quick pass, or a quick deke. He was instrumental in the team’s first two games of the playoffs scoring two goals in the game 1 win, and adding another in game 2. He supplied an assist in game 3, and another goal in game 4, but was held off the score sheet in game 5.
Head Coach Joe Martin says that the fact that both of these players were named the top performers is a great sign for next year.
“Matsui and Kopperud played exceptional during the playoffs, and put the work in to put up great performance’s. Obviously our run ended a little sooner than us and the fans would like, but this is a glimpse into the future for Cents fans as both these guys will be back for next season and will be leaned upon.”
After an amazing 2018/19 campaign, the Cents next order of business is getting ready for Spring Camp at the NVMA from April 5th to 7th.