What a thriller between the Cents and Quesnel on Saturday night! And what a crowd, arguably the biggest I have seen in seven years at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena saw a ton of lead changes before Jeff Zmurchyk played hero with the tying and winning goals. Here’s the recap from Merritt Centennials.com:
Jeff Zmurchyk scored the tying goal with 1:32 left in the third period and the winner 3:47 into overtime as the Merritt Centennials came back to defeat the Quesnel Millionaires 7-6 in BC Hockey League action before 926 fans at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena Saturday night.
Silvan Harper and Jeff Jones scored twice each and Dustin Johnson also added a single and an assist for Merritt (10-19-0-1). Jordan Soquila chipped in with three assists while Steve Tresierra, Andrew Pickering, Daniel Chang, Alex Valenti, Stephen Wall and Kameran Crawford each also had a single assist. Cole Holowenko stopped 33 shots in net for the Centennials.
Trever Hertz notched two goals and an assist for Quesnel (10-18-0-4) while Sam Higgins, Spencer Graboski and Jacob Verheyden each had a goal and assist for the Mills in the loss. Eliot Raibl also scored for Quesnel. Netminder Kirby Halcrow stopped 45 shots.
The Centennials went 2-for-8 on the power play while the Millionaires were 2-for-9.
Merritt’s next action is Friday night in Williams Lake while Quesnel’s next game is also Friday. The Mills are home to Westside.
News & Notes: Silvan Harper’s goal at 12:53 of the first period brought the teddy bears onto the ice and all stuffed animals will be donated to needy kids in the Nicola Valley … Andrew Pickering’s assist has him on a five game point streak … Dustin Johnson’s goal has him on a two game goal-scoring streak and seventh in the BCHL in goals … The Cents are now 10-7 on home ice, which is fourth best in the Interior Conference.
I received this email this morning from Shane Sanderson, the coach of the Murray GM Bantam Rep team in Merritt, who hosted a tournament this weekend:
We blew it in the final. The boy’s got out worked by Penticton. We need to work on playing for full 60 minutes and we have the potential to be one of the best Bantam teams around.
The tournament was awesome our parents and coaching staff, arena staff and refs did an awesome job to promote our town and hockey. The overtime win at the Cents game was a nice bonus to the weekend. The skills competition brought a lot of comradery amongst the teams. It was nice to see.
Our first game we dominated Seattle 10-1.
We then beat Squamish 6-3.
We then beat Lagley 5-2.
We lost the final against Penticton 4-2 giving up an empty net goal.
It was an amazing weekend in Merritt, with a bunch of different highlights for me, but one of the biggest was getting to meet the Olympic mascots! Quatchi, Sumi and Miga are the best!