Friday, September 13, 2013

Merritt @ West Kelowna Game Preview (Game 3):


Photo Credit Ian Webster - Merritt Herald
All 16 BCHL clubs got their seasons underway last weekend in Chilliwack at the BCHL Bauer Showcase, but tonight is the first night the majority of those clubs return to action in the locality of one of the teams in the game.

The Merritt Centennials see themselves eyed up with the West Kelowna Warriors for a home-and-home which begins Friday night in West Kelowna and wraps up Saturday in Merritt with the Cents home opener.

The Cents kicked off their season with a come from behind 5-2 win over Coquitlam, before falling 1-0 in a defensive battle with Langley on Sunday. West Kelowna meanwhile, fell 3-0 to Surrey to open the season and dropped a 6-5 decision to Nanaimo despite out shooting the Clippers 45-16.

The Warriors and Cents won't meet up again until October 11th in West Kelowna, when things get underway at 7:30 for game #13 on the BCHL season.

Gametime tonight is 7:00, details on the broadcast can be found below.

 1-1-0-0 Merritt Centennials

The Cents are looking to reboot the rivalry on the right side of the scoreboard this time around. In 7 meetings last season, the Cents scored just 2 powerplay goals so making the man advantages count will be important for Luke Pierce's club.

Both goaltenders, Russell Sanderson and Devin Kero, were great in their season debuts at the Bauer BCHL Showcase, and no matter who gets the call Friday will give Merritt a chance to get their second win over the Warriors in the past calendar year.

After a strong 3rd period a week prior to Friday against Coquitlam, the Cents offense was unable to coordinate success on Sunday against Langley, and after a week of practice, this team will be hungry to get pucks on net early and develop scoring chances.

 0-2-0-0 West Kelowna Warriors 

This is a different Warriors club than the last time these teams met back in March; namely due to a fresh crop of rookies and two new goaltenders on top of that. Much like Merritt, Rylan Ferster and his Warriors team sought out to replace the offensive core of his team. In players like Jordan Masters and Carl Hesler, it seems those departed players have solid successors.

Speaking of Jordan Masters, I encourage you to do some research on him and track down his back story. The kid led Alex Galchenyuk's US National team in scoring at the Ivan Hlinka tournament a few years back and was a NHL prospect until a off-ice issue delayed his progress. He remains committed to University of New Hampshire for next season(as do 6 other Warrior players remain committed to NCAA schools).

One thing Rylan Ferster really ramped up this season, but bringing in his talent from the Saskatchewan Midget AAA League. There are seven Saskies on the roster, and a handful of those players crossed paths as team mates with the Prince Albert Mintos. It will be nice to see Nipawin Hawks AP from last season Connor Bucsis hit the ice, even if he isn't wearing the right colors this time around!


Game time between the Cents and Warriors is 7:00 from Royal LePage Place, with the Norgaard Ready Mix Pregame Show beginning at 6:30. Catch the game on the radio dial at 101.1, or online at Q101.ca or through BCHL.ca. 

Click this link to listen live! 

The two teams rematch again on Saturday night in the Centennials home opener at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Puck drop is 7:30, with the Q101 broadcast beginning at 7:00.

Catch you on the airwaves!

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