The game that was supposed to open up the pod season ended up being the day 1 night cap as the Centennials and Chiefs clashed after a lengthy bus delay. The late start turned into a slow start for the Cents who ended up down 3 buzz after 1 and couldn’t get out of the hole falling 5-2 with an empty netter.
The Chiefs were lying in wait and were ready to play off the opening puck drop. Just 38 seconds in Ray Fust scored on Chilliwack’s first foray into the offensive zone. The ‘away’ team on the night kept the pressure coming when Ethan Bowen tallied on a cross ice feed on the Chiefs first powerplay on the night. Bowen would add another at even strength before the period was done to put the Chiefs in the driver seat after the first leading 3-0. Shots after 1 were 11-6 Chilliwack.
In the second period, the Cents came out jumping. After some crashing and banging, the Cents were moving their feet and were able to draw some penalties. After they were able to catch Chilliwack with too many men on the ice, it was newcomer Matteo Pecchia deflecting home a Talon Zakall blast from the line that gave the Cents some life. Brandon Dent threw the pass cross-seam, Zakall threw the shot down low, and Pecchia was able to deflect it through the wickets of Caron to make it 3-1. Despite the Cents carrying the pace of play through much of the 2nd they were the victims of some misfortune. Jacksen Hungle was robbed by Caron who swept the puck off the goal line to deny the Cents a goal, and Zack Dallazanna had a goal waved off for goaltender interference. Too add to that Dawson Good made good on a nifty move to the backhand after his team mate got absolutely levelled by defender Trevor Isaksson. The 2nd ended with a score of 4-1, shots 19-18 Chiefs.
The final frame saw the bounces go both ways, but the officials kept the whistles in their pockets. With free flowing play, the Cents were able to score when a Chase Cooke shot was blocked from blue line and deflected to partner Isaksson at the right point. Isaksson’s shot wouldn’t be denied as it knuckled and floated to the top corner blocker side. The Cents had time on their side behind by two with 13 minutes to go, but time quickly became the enemy and with time winding down and the netminder pulled the Chief’s Captain Kyle Penney made it a 5-2 final. Final shots were 29-24 Chiefs.
After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter said that the travel delays definitely hurt the Cents start.
“It’s tough spending so long on the bus and then being ready to go off the hop. Our start definitely suffered and it took us too long to find our legs.”
The Cents will look for a hot start on Sunday when they take on the Prince George Spruce Kings at 5pm on BCHLTV.ca and Q101.ca.