The Merritt Centennials took the most lopsided loss of the season on the chin as the Smoke Eaters used their powerplay to power their way to a 9-2 win.
The Smoke Eaters started the game on the power play after a delay of game penalty to Braydon Clark for skating too long in the warm up. Trail only needed just over a minute for Captain Phillipe Lapointe to be found by BCHL point leader Kent Johnson back door to make it 1-0. Talon Zakall would go off for cross-checking at the 1:46 mark and Olson Werenka would take a double minor to put the Smoke Eaters up two men. Lapointe would score back door again, set up by Johnson again to make it 2-0. Johnson would score through bodies in front, bar and in to make it 3-0. Ghirardosi and Connor would add goals on the powerplay as well and before the ten minute mark the Cents were down 5-0. Josh Van Unen scored his first in the BCHL, and first as a Cent off a Talon Zakall rebound to make it 5-1, but before the end of the period the Cents would go back to the penalty kill and would surrender another goal to make it 6-1. Shots after 1 were 21-8 in favour of Trail.
The Cents started off the second period on the right foot, but couldn’t get on the scoresheet until they went on a powerplay of their own. Olson Werenka would sneak one low through Terness to make it 6-2. Lapointe would complete the powerplay hat trick before the period was out to make it 7-2. Shots after 2 were 32-25 Smoke Eaters.
In the third, the Smoke Eaters would finally score some even strength goals to make it 9-2.
After the game, even the positive Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter didn’t have much too look on.
“It was an ugly game. Our preparation wasn’t there. We need to be better as leaders, as coaches, as a team and get back to the Centennials hockey that we’ve been playing in the last few games, forget this one and get ready for Penticton.”
The Cents will look to reset against the Vees on Friday when they welcome them for the final time to the NVMA.