Merritt Centennials
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The first batch of nominees for the NCAA’s Hobey Baker Award have been announced and there are 18 BCHL alums up for the honour.

Among the long list of nominees is none other than former Cent, Zach Risteau (2016-2018). During his two seasons with the Cents the forward put up 70 points in 74 games played. This season with the St. Lawrence Saints he's put up 7 goals and 14 assists in 23 games played. 

The award is based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of character, on and off the ice
  • Contribution to the integrity of the team and outstanding skills in all phases of the game
  • Scholastic achievement and sportsmanship
  • Compliance with all NCAA rules, including being a full-time student in an accredited college or university and completing 50 percent or more of the season

There are over 75 players nominated and they were submitted by the athletic departments of the Division I schools with a maximum of three candidates from any one school.

Fans have the opportunity to vote for players by visiting the Hobey Baker voting page.

Fan voting for the award will run through Mar. 9. Phase two of fan voting will begin Mar. 18 after the announcement of the top-10 nominees. The Hobey Hat Trick finalists will be revealed on Apr. 2 with the winner being announced Apr. 10 at the Frozen Four in Detroit, Mich.

 

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The Merritt Centennials deserved a better fate on their 3rd try against the Smoke Eaters as they fell by an empty net score of 6-4.

In the first period, the Cents were skating with the Smoke Eaters, Tanner Marshall was doing Tanner Marshall things in net, but the Smoke Eaters finally pulled through with 2 quick goals within a minute to take a 2-0 lead into the 1st intermission. Shots after 1 were 17-12 Smoke Eaters.

The middle frame saw the Cents score their first goal on the powerplay of 2020 to make it 2-1. Hunor Torzsok ripped a shot top corner blocker side in the high slot to get the Cents off the mat and into the game. The Smoke Eaters answered to restore the two goal edge, but Chase Nameth ripped a wrister in the same spot as Torzsok to bring the Cents back within one 3-2. Shots after 2 were 34-23 Trail.

Captain Rylan Van Unen tied the game early at 3’s with a shot past Paler Chow. Van Unen then had some chances shorthanded, but couldn’t convert. The Smokies would add two more, one a bat out of mid-air and another an own goal by the Cents to go up by two. Full credit to the Cents, they didn’t back down and Jerzy Orchard brought the Cents back within one 5-4 for a thrilling finish. It was former Cent Matt Osadick who would ice the game for the Smoke Eaters with an empty netter to make it a 6-4 final. Final Shots were 44-32 Trail.

After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter applauded the teams effort and compete.

“Even with the bench short, we were able to find another gear. I’m proud of the group, and if they continue to bring this effort they aren’t going to be on the losing side too often.”

The Merritt Centennials play next against the Penticton Vees on Friday before returning to Trail on Saturday.

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The Merritt Centennials (10-28-1-3) get set to clash with a foe they're all too familiar with in January in the Trail Smoke Eaters (26-14-2-1) tonight.

The Cents are coming off a pair of losses to the West Kelowna Warriors over the weekend where they had brief moments of weakness that led to large swings on the scoreboard. In game 1 on Friday, the Cents allowed 3 goals in 49 seconds. During a 5-on-3 powerplay they surrendered a quick goal, then another at 5-on-4, then another at even strength to be down 3-0 before the game was 10 minutes old. Despite that they battle back to get within 2 before the third period, but didn't have the push needed to comeback for the win despite a goal from Captain Rylan Van Unen in the third. On the Saturday, the Warriors scored in the final minute of the first, but the Cents were only trailing 2-1 by the end of two courtesy a goal from Payton Matsui. Once again, the third period proved to be the difference as the Warriors added three more to make it a 5-1 final.

The Smoke Eaters are coming off a double dip against the Penticton Vees where they split the series 1-1. They won game 1 in Trail by a score of 4-3, but were unable to get going offensively in Penticton where they fell by a score of 5-1. In the loss, former Cent Matt Osadick scored his first as a Smoke Eater.

The Cents and Smoke Eaters prepare to meet for a 5th time this season and the first time this week, as they will be back on Saturday to take on Trail. The season series sits soundly at 0-4 for the Cents as they've been outscored 28-10 by the Smoke Eaters. The young defense of the Cents will have their hands full containing the offense of the Smoke Eaters, and Tanner Marshall is going to need to turn in a game stealing performance if the Cents want to pick up the points that they so desperately need. After dropping both decisions against the West K, the Cents now sit 3 points back of the Warriors in the bottom of the BCHL.

The Centennials will need their offensive guns firing. Christian Buono leads the team with 30 points, Payton Matsui has 28, and Daniel Tkac has 24.

The Smoke Eaters feature the top 3 scorers in the BCHL. Kent Johnson has 78 points, Owen Ozar has 51, and Michael Colella has 49.

The special teams battle sees the Cents slumping on the powerplay in 2020, and going up against the 3rd best team in the league.

Powerplay:                                 Penalty Kill:

Cents - 10.1% (17th)            Cents - 72.6% (17th)

Trail - 25.1% (3rd)                  Trail - 86.6% (3rd)

The goaltending duel sees Tanner Marshall looking to pick up his first win of 2020. He's 6-14-1 with an .883 SV% and a 4.74 GAA. Logan Jorginson from the Osoyoos Coyotes of the KIJHL is the emergency back up tonight after Ryan Winter took a tumble and injured his elbow.

Logan Terness is the goaltender of note for the Smoke Eaters at 20-8-2 with a .929 SV% and a 2.49 GAA. Matteo Paler Chow is 9-10-1 with a .883 SV% and a 3.50 GAA.

Head Coach Derek Sweet Coulter says that the Cents need to stick to a simple gameplan to have success.

"Our guys need to keep it simple on the ice. In the defensive zone, and in the offensive when we play simple, we win battle, we have success."

The Cents will look to have some success tonight.

Puck drop 7pm. Pre-game 6:45 on Q101 and HockeyTV with Jared Thomas.

 

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Cents opener 2019

After dropping a pair of games to the West Kelowna Warriors over the weekend, the Merritt Centennials find themselves in last place in the BCHL and out of the playoff picture.

West Kelowna sits three points up on Merritt with both squads having 16 games remaining, zero versus each other.

Here’s a breakdown of the home stretch for both teams; (stats as of Jan. 13)

Home vs Road Games Remaining; (Advantage – Cents)

Cents - 7 Home 9 Road

Warriors - 7 Home 9 Road

*Note – West K has a 3-in-3 island swing remaining

 

Games against Teams over/under .500 (Advantage - Warriors)

Cents – 14 over – 2 under

Warriors - 13 over – 3 under

 

Vs Top 5 in the BCHL (Advantage – Draw)

Merritt sees; Coquitlam x1, Penticton x2, Cowichan x0, Nanaimo x0, Trail x3

West K sees; Coquitlam x0, Penticton x2, Cowichan x1, Nanaimo x1, Trail x2

 

Vs Bottom 5 in the BCHL (Advantage – Warriors)

Merritt sees; West K x0, Victoria x0, PG x1, Surrey x1, Langley x0

West K sees; Cents x0, Victoria x1, PG x1, Surrey x1, Langley x0

 

Should West K and Merritt finish the regular season tied in points and wins, Merritt won the head-to-head tiebreaker +1. (Season series goal differential)

Cents continue their playoff push tomorrow night (Tuesday Jan.14) in Trail. Catch the game on Q101 starting at 6:45 with Jared Thomas.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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The Merritt Centennials were unable to get past the West Kelowna Warriors in game 2 of the double header and fell by a score of 5-1.

In the first period the Cents kept things close and nearly escaped the period scoreless, but Carter Wilkie scored in the final minute to put the Warriors up 1-0.

The middle frame saw the Cents and Warriors trade goals. Payton Matsui scored the lone goal of the night by beating Derrick five hole, but the Warriors were quick to answer on the powerplay with a goal from Deegan Mofford to regain the one goal lead. Tanner Marshall had to make some sensational saves late in the frame to ensure that the Cents were only trailing by one heading to the 3rd.

The Warriors were the only team who showed up for the third period as they’d score three more unanswered, one on the powerplay, to take the game 5-1.

The Centennials have now been leap frogged by the West Kelowna Warriors and sit in last place in the BCHL.

After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter said the team needs to stay out of the box.

“Discipline was another story again tonight. We can’t afford to give the other team that many chances, and we paid the price.”

Cents are next in action on Tuesday against the Smoke Eaters.

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