The Merritt Centennials welcome their pod rival Prince George Spruce Kings to the NVMA tonight.
During the league’s abbreviated pod season last year, the Spruce Kings were crowned pod champions while the Centennials were in tough against two strong teams in Chilliwack. The Centennials will be looking for a measure of revenge against the revamped Spruce Kings who have a large contingent of returners from last season that are ready to hit the ground running in their first exhibition contest.
The Merritt Centennials got some offense, but not enough to take their first exhibition test as they fell by a score of 5-1 to the Coquitlam Express on Wednesday.
The first period saw the teams testing each other and the Centennials getting up to game speed. Despite the teams trading powerplay chances in the first neither could find the back of the net and the goaltenders stood tall.
The scoring arrived in the second with some 4-on-4 play and a goal mouth scramble that saw the Express capitalize for the opening tally of the contest. The Centennials would answer when they returned to a 5 minute major with Wyatt Marlow finding a way to thread one through the needle from the corner to tie the game at 1. Arlo Merritt would regain the lead for the Express before the period was out to make it a 2-1 contest after 40.
The final frame saw the Cents with a chance to battle back, but Ryan Tattle added a bit more distance just 30 seconds in to make it 3-1. He’d add his 2nd goal and 3rd point of the night 3 minutes later to make it 4-1, before the Express sealed the deal with a goal from Emmet McHardy to make it a 5-1 final. Wyatt Marlow dropped the gloves and was assessed an instigator penalty.
Wyatt Marlow was an assist short of the Gordie Howe hat trick but leads the team in exhibition scoring through one game with 1 goal, while Chase Cooke is the only other Cent with a point. Needless to say the team will be looking for a little more on the offensive side tonight against what is traditionally one of the stingiest teams in the BCHL. The Centennials line up will consist of many players who they’re looking to be regulars from night to night, and Brayden Melnyk will get the call between the pipes.
Puck drop 7PM. Pre-game 6:55 on BCHLTV.ca with Jared Thomas & Michael Reeve.
Fans will be permitted into the building follow these rules:
ENTRY BY DONATION
**proof of vaccination is required for entry**
19+ double vaxxed with valid id
12-18 double vaxxed no 2nd id required
12 and under must be accompanied by an adult
**fans are asked to remain in their seats at all times**
**a mask must be worn indoors at all times**
limited concession available
maximum half total capacity
477 arena | 88 mezzanine
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