Merritt (0-1) @ Salmon Arm (1-0)
Last Game Played:
Friday, February 25 Game One: Salmon Arm beat Merritt Vernon defeated Quesnel 7-2
Tonight is Game Two of the First round of the BCHL Playoffs between the Merritt Centennials and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Gorillas lead lead the best of seven series 1-0. The Centennials are on a one game losing streak while the Silverbacks are on a single game winning streak. Tonight’s game is live on Q101 in Merritt with Alex Grebenyuk and yours truly. Our pre-game show is on the air at 6:30 with the opening faceoff is at 7 o’clock.
Let’s take a look at the Merritt Centennials: (0-1)
Home record: 0-0
Road record: 0-1
The Centennials come into tonight’s Game Two down 1-0 in the series and need to find their game quickly. There weren’t many bright spots for Merritt in last night’s Game One, although the play of the line of Blaine Bokenfohr, Max Vallis and Sean Maktaak was probably the best. Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce did juggle his top two lines a little during the game, moving Maktaak up with Jeff Jones and Regan Soquila and moving Evan Stack to play with Bokenfohr and Vallis. Soquila missed parts of the game with an illness while Kam Crawford was a late scratch as he was battling a bit of a stomach bug too. Dustin Lebrun, who was scheduled to be a healthy scratch, was inserted into the line-up in Crawford’s absence as the Cents were forced to play with five defencemen and thirteen forwards. Billy Marshall was likely the Cents best defenceman in Game One. The play of Lino Chimienti and Tyler Steel gives Luke Pierce a tough decision heading into Game Two. Does he give Chimienti or Steel the start? Lino allowed five goals on 13 shots while Tyler allowed two goals on 18 shots. I posed the question to most of the Cents fans at the game last night and the decision was probably 50-50 on who to put in goal tonight.
Cents leading scorers in the series:
Max Vallis (1-0-1)
Billy Marshall (1-0-1)
Sean Maktaak (0-1-1)
Jeff Jones (0-1-1)
Blaine Bokenfohr (0-1-1)
Lino Chimienti (0-1, 9.34 GAA)
Tyler Steel (0-0, 4.37 GAA)
Let’s have a look at the Salmon Arm Silverbacks: (1-0)
Home record: 1-0
Road record: 0-0
The Silverbacks showed their depth last night as 11 different Salmon Arm players hit the scoresheet. Kris Moore played OK for the Backs, but I noticed was juggling the odd rebound and didn’t need to make any great saves in the win. Mike Hammond played his first game of the season with Salmon Arm against Merritt and made a big difference in chipping in with two goals and an assist.
Silverbacks leading scorers in the series:
Mike Hammond (2-1-3)
Charlie Vasaturo (2-0-2)
Paul DeJersey (1-1-2)
Brett Knowles (0-2-2)
Devin Muller (0-2-2)
Dustin Cave (1-0-1)
Devin Gannon (1-0-1)
Bryce Gervais (0-1-1)
Brad Reid (0-1-1)
Jerryd Ten Vaanholt (0-1-1)
Morgan Zulinick (0-1-1)
Kris Moore (1-0, 2.00 GAA)
Let’s take a look back at last night’s Game One:
Game One: Friday, February 25 @ Salmon Arm: Silverbacks wint 7-2 over Merritt
Mike Hammond had a pair of goals and an assist as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks beat the Merritt Centennials in Game One of their BC Hockey League Interior Conference Quarterfinal series Friday night.
Charlie Vasaturo added two goals, Brett Knowles had two assists, and Paul DeJersey had a goal and an assist for Salmon Arm (1-0). Dustin Cave and Devin Gannon also posted goals in the win.
Billy Marshall and Max Vallis tallied for Merritt (0-1) while Jeff Jones, Blaine Bokenfohr and Sean Maktaak each had assists in the loss.
Kris Moore made 24 saves for the Silverbacks to earn the win. Lino Chimienti started in net for the Centennials and stopped 8 of 13 shots in 32:13 of work. His replacement, Tyler Steel, turned aside 16 of 18 shots.
The Cents scored on one of their four power play chances, while Salmon Arm went 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
Game Two of the series is Saturday night at the Sunwave Centre before returning to Merritt for Games Three and Four this coming Monday and Tuesday.