After a successful preseason in which the Merritt Centennials finished 3-1, they will hit the ice today at 4:00 PM to take on the Coquitlam Express in the season opener.
Last season had Merritt finish just five points back of top spot in the Interior Division, with a record of 31-17-3-5 for 70 points. Coquitlam was at the bottom of the Mainland Division with a record of 24-31-1-0 for 49 points.
In two meetings in 2012/2013, Merritt picked up 3 of 4 points following a 5-4 overtime loss on January 11th(boxscore), and then a 5-0 win on home ice eight days later (boxscore).
In net, Merritt sends veteran Russell Sanderson to the crease with import Devin Kero there for relief following a season in the NAHL. Sanderson seems poised to take the crease although Kero is going to provide stability and looks capable of carrying the team if asked.
For Coquitlam, the recent addition of Gordy Defiel gives them comfort in net after posting CJHL best GAA, Save Percentage, and Shutouts with the Minnesota Wilderness of the SIJHL. That team is now in the NAHL, and Defiel was acquired from the AJHL's Brooks Bandits recently for a trio of roster players.
Catch the broadcast LIVE on Q101 - Merritt's Music Mix, beginning at 3:30 with the Norgaard Ready-Mix pregame show. Gametime is 4 PM.
Click this link to listen live!
A Pay-Per-View broadcast is also available through FastHockey at BCHL.ca.
Merritt will then travel home until Sunday, when they return to the 2013 BCHL Bauer Showcase to take on the Langley Rivermen at 5:30 PM. Don't forget to attend the home opener Saturday, September 14th when the West Kelowna Warriors visit the NVMA 24 hours after the two teams meet in West Kelowna for the first time this season.