The Merritt Centennials got into penalty trouble early and Prince George capitalized en route to a 5-1 loss for the boys in white.
The first period saw the teams skate fairly even for the first 7 minutes of play. Hunor Torzsok got off to a good start when he turned a puck over at centre and dished a pass for Linden Makow who got a shot away with Ben Ward all over him defensively that fooled Josh Dias to open the scoring. As the Spruce Kings have done throughout the pod, they scored in bunches as Christian Buono added another one on a skate-by deflection that changed direction and beat Dias to make it 2-0. The Cents then took a late penalty and PG made them pay with Hunor Torzsok deflecting home a shot from his office in the goal mouth to make it 3-0. Shots after 1 were 14-7 PG.
In the middle frame PG continued to get the damage done with the extra man converting early on the PP was Rowan Miller. Around the 6 minute mark Mason Waite scored just as a Cents powerplay expired to make it 5-0. From then on the Spruce Kings were in cruise control and despite Cents chances around the net they couldn’t make anything happen in the period. Shots after 2 were 24-15.
The final stanza was largely uneventful. The Spruce Kings sat back and the Cents put the pressure on, but were only able to break the shutout bid late on a goal from Captain Zack Dallazanna. It was his 4th of the pod season as Dias shut the door the rest of the way stopping 30 of 35 shots. Aaron Trotter would stop 26/27.
After the game Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter said the team needed to play more like they did in the last half of the game.
“We outchanced, out shot, and outscored Prince George in the 2nd half of the game, but you can’t give a team a 3-0 lead in the first and expect to win.”
Cents get one final crack at PG on Friday, 5PM puck drop.