Alex Valenti Commits to St. Scholastica, Andersen Audio, Cents Community Challenge, Booster Club AGM, Ouellette Signs With Kassel, Movements:

(Former Cents forward Alex Valenti)

I’m so glad to hear that Alex Valenti, who is the fourth of last season’s four graduating Cents players, is moving on to NCAA hockey. Valenti has committed to the College of St. Scholastica for the 2010-11 season. Of course, defenceman Ryne Bodger committed to the same school earlier this off-season, so there’ll be some familiarity there for both players.

Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce chatted with me today about the commitment and the fact that all four graduating players from last season will be playing hockey and attending post-secondary institutes in September.

Cents Coach & GM Luke Pierce
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I hope to get some reaction from Valenti himself sometime early next week. In the meantime, here’s the official release from the team:


Merritt, BC – July 23, 2010

The Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce the commitment of 20-year-old forward Alex Valenti to the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota for September 2010.

“We are very happy that Alex has ensured that his hockey career will continue beyond his time here in Merritt,” said Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce. “I believe that Alex is an elite player who could be considered a major steal for Saint Scholastica.”

Pierce continued, “Alex was a pleasure to coach, and his upbeat personality will bring him success in whatever he chooses to pursue. I want to thank Alex for his time spent here, and I look forward to following his career at the next level.”

For further information, please contact Cents head coach and GM Luke Pierce at 250-378-3607.


Cents goaltender Jared Anderson, who was acquired in a trade last week, joined me on the morning show today to talk about the trade from Grande Prairie, what his expectations are for the season and more. Check it out…

Cents Goalie Jared Andersen
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The Merritt News also did a story on Andersen in this week’s paper:

Goalie provides stability to rebuilding Cents team
July 22,2010

Coleman Molnar – News Reporter

With two of his goalies going away to Western Hockey League training camps, Merritt Centennials head coach Luke Pierce knew he needed to find some more stability in net. This is where Jared Andersen comes in.

Andersen was traded from the AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm in exchange for defenceman Mitch Jones. At six feet tall and 175 pounds, Andersen will be the third goalie signed to the team this year, but he understands his future role on the team is yet to be determined.

“I think the situation is kind of up in the air,” said Andersen.

“They (the goalies) might come back, and they might not.”

Pierce has torn feelings about his prospecting goalies, as any coach would. Keith Hamilton will be attending the Portland Winterhawk’s training camp in late August, while Cole Holowenko is being looked at by the Chilliwack Bruins.

“It puts you in a kind of wait-and-see position, which isn’t always easy,” explains Pierce.

“We’d like to see them succeed in their goals, which are to play in the WHL, but at the same time we’d like to know what we’ve got coming in here.”

Pierce expects Hamilton to stay on in Portland for at least the first couple months, but is unsure about Holowenko’s status. The acquisition of yet another goalie is something that Pierce may have to deal with before the season starts.

“We’re going to keep looking here to try and get some certainty.”

As for Andersen, he is focusing on his training and letting the politics of the sport he loves take care of themselves.

“I’m going to try not to worry about it right now and just work my hardest for the rest of the summer,” said Andersen.

“If they both do come back, I can try to beat them out for a starting spot by working as hard as I can.”

I had Cents Marketing Manager Maddison Canuel on my morning show yesterday to explain what the 2010 Community Challenge is all about.

Cents Marketing Manager Maddison Canuel
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Here’s the official release from the team:


Merritt, BC – July 20, 2010

The Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce a fun and exciting contest for fans to get involved in.

It’s called the Cents 2010 Community Challenge!

“We are looking for 20 people in the community who are willing to sell up to ten season tickets each to help us reach our goal of ‘500 Makes Cents’ for the 2010-11 season,” said Cents Marketing Manager Maddison Canuel.

“Also, the person who sells the most season tickets will receive a signed team jersey and an autographed photo of Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick and former Cents captain Casey Pierro-Zabotel,” continued Canuel.

For further information, please contact Cents Marketing Manager Maddison Canuel at 250-280-2439 or

The Cents Booster Club, which I think is the absolute lifeblood of the organization, has its annual general meeting coming up next Thursday. I really hope that they get a great turnout and that this tireless group of people who care so much about the Centennials and our community receive a ton of requests from people wanting to volunteer. The reality is that without the Booster Club, the Cents likely would have left Merritt a long time ago.


Merritt, BC – July 21, 2010

The Merritt Centennials Booster Club would like to invite all residents of the Nicola Valley to its Annual General Meeting on Thursday July 29, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the Ska-Lu-La Workshop at 1775 Coldwater Avenue.

The evening will consist of reports on booster club finances for the 2009-10 fiscal year and the election of the 2010-11 Board of Directors. Nominations for the Board of Directors will be permitted from the floor during the meeting.

“We’d like to hear from you even if you only have a few spare hours a month to donate, any amount of volunteer time is a huge help,” said Cents Booster Club President Betty Doberstein. “As part of our fundraising, we do catering and bar services for any event, and even have a full supply of dishes for rent at a reasonable rate.”

For further information, please contact Cents Booster Club President Betty Doberstein at 250-378-6940 or or Secretary Rusty Brewer at 250-378-4744 or


(Former Cents forward Mike Ouellette – seen here with his Austrian Club Team last season)


Merritt, BC – July 22, 2010

The Merritt Centennials would like to congratulate Mike Ouellette after signing with the Kassel Huskies of the German Elite League for the 2010-11 season.

Ouellette, who was BCHL Interior Conference Rookie of the Year in 2001, spent the 2009-10 season with Medvescak Zagreb of the Austrian League, finishing second in team scoring with 48 points in 52 games.

The Kamloops product is a veteran of 149 AHL games and 75 ECHL games over four pro seasons. Ouellette received a scholarship while playing for the Centennials and played four years at Dartmouth College after graduating from the BCHL in 2001.


Any junior hockey fan who frequents the blogosphere, likely visits Greg Drinnan’s Taking Note blog on a regular basis. (You can see a link on the left side down a bit.)

Greg’s blog does an amazing job keeping tabs on the whereabouts of former WHL players and I’d like to start doing a similar thing for former BCHL players on this blog, regardless of whether they played for the Cents or not.

I’ll start with this list of recent moves and hopefully can update on a daily basis or as player movements happen.

F Cory Larose (Langley, 1995-96) signed a one-year contract with Vienna Capitals (Austria EBEL). Larose had eight goals and nine assists in 22 games with Langenthal (Swiss NLB) and no points in two games on loan to Langnau (Swiss NLA) last season. . . .

D Matt Suderman (Surrey, 2003-04) signed a one-year deal with Hull Stingrays (England Elite Ice Hockey League). Suderman had one goal and two assists in 21 games with HC Morzine-Avoriaz (France Ligue Magnus) last season. . . .

D Craig Gaudet (Nanaimo, 2003-06) signed with Alaska Aces (ECHL). Gaudet had three goals and seven assists with St. Cloud State University (NCAA) last season. . . .

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