Cents @ Vipers Preview, Cents Double Warriors, Luke Pierce Recap, Cents Grad Wade MacLeod in the Running for Hobey Baker:

Merritt (17-20-0-6) @ Vernon (25-8-4-8)

Tonight is the fourth of six meetings between the Merritt Centennials and Vernon Vipers. It’s the first meeting of the teams in more than two months. Merritt is 2-0-0-1 against the defending RBC Cup champions this season with all three games decided in overtime.

Last Game Played: Friday, November 5 – Merritt won 4-3 in overtime.

Next Games:
Friday, January 21: Powell River @ Vernon
Friday, January 21: Merritt @ Quesnel

Let’s take a look at the Merritt Centennials:

Games Played: 43
Wins: 17
Losses: 20
Ties: 0
Overtime Losses: 6
Home Record: 12-5-0-4
Road Record: 5-15-0-2
Streak: One game winning streak
Last Ten Games: 6-3-0-1
Goals For: 119
Goals Against: 147
Standings: 6th place

Since the 2002-03 season Merritt is 6-44-0-5 against Vernon

Since the 2003-04 season Merritt is 1-19-0-4 at home vs. Vernon

Since the 2003-04 season Merritt is 2-19-0-2 in Vernon

Merritt is 1-9-0-0 in its last 10 visits to Vernon’s Wesbild Centre

Merritt is 1-9-0-0 in its last 10 home games vs. Vernon

Merritt’s last win in Vernon against the Vipers was a 5-4 double overtime victory back on Tuesday, September 21, 2010.

Vernon Vipers at 3:34 – Dylan Walchuk from Marcus Basara and David Robinson
Merritt Centennials at 5:50 (PP) – Regan Soquila from Stephen Wall
Merritt Centennials at 19:43 (PP) – Dustin Johnson from Kameran Crawford and Jeff Jones
Vernon Vipers at 11:17 (PP) – Steven Weinstein from Bryce Kakoske and Kyle Murphy
Vernon Vipers at 3:53 – Marcus Basara from Dylan Walchuk and David Robinson
Merritt Centennials at 6:44 (PP) – Jeff Jones from Dustin Johnson and Max Vallis
Merritt Centennials at 16:52 (PS) – Dustin Johnson (unassisted)
Vernon Vipers at 19:28 – Dylan Walchuk from John Knisley and Philip Patenaude

Merritt Centennials at 2:20 – Jeff Zmurchyk from Stephen Wall

Former Centennials on the Vipers:

Centennials power play vs. Vernon this season: 5/11
Centennials home record vs. Vernon this season: 1-0-0-1
Centennials road record vs. Vernon this season: 1-0

Cents scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season:
Jeff Jones (2-2-4)
Max Vallis (2-1-3)
Regan Soquila (2-1-3)
Stephen Wall (0-2-2)
Steve Tresierra (1-1-2)
Evan Stack (0-2-2)
Sean Maktaak (1-1-2)
Chad Brears (0-2-2)
Brandon Pfeil (1-1-2)
Kameran Crawford (0-1-1)
Jakob Reichert (0-1-1)
Reece Willcox (0-1-1)
Brent Fletcher (0-1-1)

Tyler Steel (2-0)

Let’s take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

Games Played: 46
Wins: 25
Losses: 9
Ties: 4
Overtime Losses: 8
Home Record: 9-4-2-4
Road Record: 16-5-2-4
Streak: Three game winning streak
Last Ten Games: 6-1-1-2
Goals For: 148
Goals Against:111
Standings: 2nd Place

Former Vipers on the Centennials:
None, but David Sabey, Jeff Jones and Tyler Steel all were participants in Vipers training camp in the past. Jones was AP’d by Vernon in 2008-09 but didn’t play any games with the Vipers.

Vipers power play vs. Merritt this season: 2/10
Vipers home record vs. Merritt this season: 0-1
Vipers road record vs. Merritt this season: 1-0-0-1

Vipers scoring leaders vs. Merritt this season:
Dylan Walchuk (2-2-4)
David Robinson (2-2-4)
John Knisley (1-3-4)
Marcus Basara (2-1-3)
Michael Zalewski (1-2-3)
Steven Weinstein (1-1-2)
Aaron Hadley (0-2-2)
Malcolm Lyles (0-2-2)
Bryce Kakoske (1-1-2)
Max Mowat (0-2-2)
Kyle Murphy (0-1-1)
Philip Patenaude (0-1-1)
Darren Nowick (0-1-1)

Blake Voth (1-1)


The Cents continued their dominance of the Westside Warriors on Saturday with a 6-3 win. Here’s the recap from MerrittCentennials.com:


January 15, 2011 – Merritt, BC

The Merritt Centennials started slowly. But most importantly, they finished strong.

The Centennials erased an two-goal first period deficit by scoring four goals in the second period en route to a 6-3 win against the Westside Warriors in BC Hockey League action Saturday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

Evan Stack led Merritt (17-20-0-6) with a goal and two assists. Max Vallis had two goals while Jeff Jones and Regan Soquila had a goal and an assist apiece and Blaine Bokenfohr chipped in with two assists. Sean Maktaak also scored. Billy Marshall, Chad Brears, Silvan Harper and Richard Sabourin each had single assists.

Quinn Gould, Tyler Krause and Shawn Hochhausen were the scorers for Westside (24-16-2-3).

Lino Chimienti made 33 saves in goal for the Centennials while Kevin Boyle kicked out 24 shots for Westside.

Merritt went 2-for-5 on the power play and the Warriors went 0-for-3. With the win, the Cents improve to 5-0 against Westside during the 2010-11 season.


I had the chance to chat with Cents coach/GM Luke Pierce on the morning show today about last week’s games against Salmon Arm and Westside, JP Witkop’s first BCHL game and a preview of tonight’s game in Vernon plus this weekend’s trip to Quesnel and Prince George.


Great to see former Cents sniper Wade MacLeod in the running for the 2011 Hobey Baker Award for the second straight season. I’m hoping to chat with Wade in the near future to get his thoughts on the nomination and his season so far with NE University. Again from MerrittCentennials.com:

January 17, 2011 – St. Paul, Minnesota

A Merritt Centennials graduate has the first step towards capturing NCAA Division I hockey’s top individual honour after being named to an initial list of 50 nominees for the 2011 Hobey Baker Award.

Forward Wade McLeod, a senior at Northeastern University is nominated for the second straight year. The Port Coquitlam native is one of six BCHL grads in the running. MacLeod stands eighth in all-time Centennials scoring with 65 goals and 81 assists in 101 career games.

Award criteria include candidates mimicking the superlative character traits put forth by the award’s namesake, Hobey Baker, a World War I flying star better known as America’s greatest amateur athlete in his day. Award candidates must exhibit strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.

The 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 8, 2011 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota. The 31st annual award announcement honoring college hockey’s top player is tentatively scheduled to be televised live during prime time on ESPNU.

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