The Merritt Centennials couldn’t get their first win of the season as the Vees put their offensive ability on display early and often at the NVMA in a 7-3 win.
For the first time in the Barry Wolff era the Cents didn’t open the scoring. Despite starting the game with a powerplay, the Vees mustered a 5-on-5 goal 3:54 into the frame from Alex DiPaolo. Rylan Van Unen would even things up on the powerplay after finding a lose puck in front to make it 1-1. Tristan Amonte and Cade Webber would answer for the Vees to make it 3-1 before the end of the first period. After 1 shots were 15-9 for the Vees with Ryan Winter and Yaniv Perets getting the starts for their respective clubs.
The second period was where things got away from the Centennials. Olson Werenka took an early penalty for holding and Danny Weight made it 4-1 on the powerplay. That would be the beginning of the onslaught as Evan McIntyre, David Silye, and Colton Kalezic all added to the scorelines before the 2nd was over to make it 6 goals unanswered. Late in the 2nd period, Werenka got called for a check from behind at the offensive blueline and was given a game misconduct as well. It marked the 2nd game in a row that Werenka didn’t make it the full 60 minutes. Shots were 34-19 after 2.
The final frame saw the Cents come out with much more fire, albeit too late. Dylan Kosik got his first taste of BCHL action to start the third, relieving Ryan Winter. However, they were finally able to get some scoring done 5-on-5 as Brett Rolson found a huge rebound in front to make it 7-2 at the 8:14 mark. Then late in the 3rd with less than a minute to go Troy Quinn loosed a shot with eyes that found the top corner to make it 7-3. The Cents were able to win the third period, but not the game as they’d fall by a score of 7-3.
After the game Assistant Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter said the team needs to show that fire a little earlier.
“I think you saw the pride that the guys had in that third period. They knew what they needed to do to answer, they just need to come out with that jump a little sooner.”
The Cents will look to come out with more fire on Saturday Night against the Victoria Grizzlies. Puck Drop 7pm from the NVMA.