I think that all Centennials fans — players and coaching staff included — are trying to keep an even keel when it comes to the teams’ pre-season 3-0 record, but it’s hard not to get excited when you see the stats.
In three games with three completely different lineups against three opponents that iced vastly different looks, the Cents have allowed just five goals (1.67 GAA per game) and scored 10 goals (3.33 GF per game).
But arguably, their toughest test comes tonight with Vernon in town. I’ll get a preview on merrittcentennials.com and here later this afternoon.
Meanwhile, here’s the recap of last night’s game:
Merritt, BC – September 9, 2011
The Merritt Centennials are now 3-0 in the BCHL pre-season after a 3-1 win over the Simon Fraser University Clan of the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.
After a scoreless first period that saw Merritt outshoot SFU 11-9, it was the Clan who opened the scoring at the 5:43 mark of the second period on a goal by defenseman Kenton Valliant. Adam Nathwani picked up the lone assist.
After 40 minutes, the game remained 1-0 for SFU, with the Clan outshooting the Cents 16-11 in the middle frame and 27-22 overall.
Returning veteran forward Dustin Lebrun got Merritt on the board when he jammed a puck past former Cents netminder Graeme Gordon, who was playing goal for SFU, just 27 seconds into the third period.
Lebrun tallied again at 7:49 of the third when he pounced on the puck after a goal-mouth scramble to give the Centennials their first lead of the night. Regan Soquila and Tyler Martin notched assists on the goal.
Lebrun completed the natural hat trick from Richard Sabourin at 19:25 of the third period on a gorgeous shot that handcuffed Gordon and went right over his glove into the top of the net.
Lino Chimienti started the game for the Centennials, allowing just the one goal, while Sky Buller took over midway through the second period and looked sharp, not allowing SFU to get on the board.
Graeme Gordon allowed all three Cents goals after coming on in relief of Andrew Parent, who started the game for SFU.
The Cents next exhibition game is Saturday night at home against the defending BCHL champion and RBC Cup finalist Vernon Vipers. Faceoff time is 7:30 pm.