The Merritt Centennials wrap up their four games swing through Vancouver Island this afternoon in Port Alberni. It’s their lone visit of the season to the Weyerhauser Arena to face the Bulldogs.
For AV, it’s the third game of a three game home stand that coincides with Parents’ Weekend for the Bulldogs. The Dogs are 1-1 on the home stand, including a 3-1 loss Saturday against Nanaimo, the team the Cents blanked 3-0 on Friday.
It was a weird one in Victoria last night for Merritt as the Cents outshot the Grizzlies through 20 minutes by a wide margin (17-9) but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. The Grizz stormed out with three goals in the second period and added another three in the third for the win. Max Vallis had the lone goal for the Centennials, who allowed more than three goals against for the first time in eleven games. It also marked the first time in ten games that the Cents hadn’t out shot their opponent (although they did tie Victoria at 45 shots each).
Today’s game is the first for Colton Sobchak against his former team. The 20 year old forward from Kelowna was traded by Merritt to Alberni back in the off-season for the always-popular future considerations. Sobchak is well below his pace of almost a point per game as he was with the Centennials last season and is ice cold right now with just one assist in his last four games, but he does have eight points in his last ten games.
The Cents went 0-2 against the Bulldogs last season and haven’t beat Alberni Valley since January 28, 2006 (check out the boxscore
). They haven’t won at the Weyerhauser Arena since November 23, 2003. The boxscore for that game is here
Catch the game this afternoon on Q101 in Merritt (101.1 FM), www.Q101.ca
. Our pre-game show with Alex Grebenyuk starts at 2 pm with the opening faceoff at 2:30.
I suspected there would be a couple of line up changes for the Cents after last night’s 6-1 loss in Victoria. Although I don’t know the exact combinations, here’s what the line up is for Merritt today in Port Alberni.
Scratches: Muir (AP), Fletcher
Coming off a solid game last night, the Centennials aren’t making any changes to their line up tonight, except for in goal.
Scratches: Lebrun, Sabourin
Tonight the Centennials play their third game in four days as they make their lone visit to Bear Mountain Arena to face the Victoria Grizzlies.
For the Grizzlies, it’s their last game of a three game home stand. They are 2-0 so far, with both wins coming in overtime.
The Cents want to keep things rolling as they posted their first shutout of the season and Lino Chimienti’s first of his BCHL career last night with a 3-0 win over Nanaimo. Although I didn’t see the game, from what I’ve heard, the Cents played as close to a perfect road game as possible in getting the victory. Not sure of any lineup changes tonight as I’m awaiting an email from Luke Pierce confirming who’s in and who’s out tonight. Dustin Lebrun and Richard Sabourin sat out last night, but from what I understand, both are healthy and Luke was planning to sit out the odd guy during the trip with so many games in such a short period of time.
Tonight’s game marks the first match-up for Dustin Johnson against his former team and first meeting of the season between Merritt and Victoria. They’ll lock horns at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Wed. December 1. Johnson was traded by the Cents to Victoria last month. Brett Kolins was picked up from the Grizzlies in that deal and didn’t report to Merritt, he’s playing junior ‘B’ hockey in the PIJHL. Johnson, meanwhile, is maintaining the same pace with Victoria that he had with the Cents, compiling 12 points (6g, 6a) in 14 games.
Merritt was 0-2 against Victoria last season and hasn’t beat the Grizzlies since December 10, 2006, a 6-2 win at home. Check out the boxscore for a blast from the past! The Cents haven’t won in Victoria since November 19, 2004, but what a win it was, 8-1 over the then-Salsa.
This season is one of the few for the Centennials in which they don’t have any players on their roster from Vancouver Island, so this isn’t a homecoming for any of them. Not like when they play Coquitlam/Surrey/Langley, when seven players are playing close to home.
Catch the game tonight on Q101 in Merritt (101.1 FM) or www.Q101.ca or www.BCHL.ca. Pre-game show at 6:45, opening faceoff at 7:15.