First off, I am sorry I haven’t been blogging much in the last week and a half, with Valentine’s Day tomorrow along with Merritt’s First Annual Winter Carnival, things have been crazy at work.
Of course the Cents have a game tonight in Quesnel, and you have to like their chances. Merritt is 3-0 at The Vault and 5-2-0-1 overall this season against the Millionaires. The Centennials will have a bit of a short bench though, as they try to snap their two game losing streak. F Kevin Philp (90) left the team earlier this week after a dispute about his playing time. Philp, who came to the Cents after being released from the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades in September, had found himself benched for stretches during the last four games, while in the ten games before that, he posted ten points. For now, the locker stall in the picture above is empty and I can only hope that Philp lands on his feet for next season, either here in Merritt or somewhere else in the BCHL or WHL. He’s a big body that’s difficult to knock off the puck and has a decent amount of skill.
F Alexander MacMillan (90) won’t play again this season after the doctor determined that his hip flexor injury wouldn’t be sufficiently healed for him to resume skating. MacMillan has gone home to Alberta and should be ready to go for training camp next season. I certainly hope for the best for the only Cents player during my tenure here that has the same birthday as me!
So without Philp and MacMillan around and F Ryan Aynsley (90) still at home in Kelowna since leaving the Cents at Christmas, the team only has eight healthy forwards. With six healthy defencemen, D Matt Mazzarolo (90) has been playing up front recently, as has D Casey Fratkin (89), who is a natural forward that was converted to defence earlier this season.
The BCHL has renamed the MVP trophy to honour league pioneer Vern Dye. I had a chance to speak with executive director Dave Sales about the name change and I’ll have that interview posted here tomorrow.
Also, a quick update on the fundraising of Cents superfan Adam McCormack. Adam wound up raising $5023.26 for the Skate For A Cure, which put him in first place across the province! Watch for Adam at a future Canucks game as his prize for finishing first includes 2 VIP tickets and he also gets to lead the Canucks out onto the ice and stand with them for the national anthem! If you supported Adam due to my interview with him that I posted here, thank you!