Back in early September, the Merritt Centennials earned a 5-2 win to seal the season opener against Coquitlam at the BCHL Bauer Showcase in Chilliwack; and that offensive onslaught returned on Friday on Prospera Centre ice, with the Centennials scoring 5 times in the second period on their way to a 7-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs.
In the first of back to back games with the Chiefs, Sebastian Pare and Scott Patterson each put up 4 point nights, led by Patterson's hat trick and Pare's trio of assists. Russell Sanderson was key in the win, stopping all but two of the 25 shots that came his way. Gavin Gould and James Neil also put up 2 point nights, while a handful of Cents also got on the stat sheet.
Scoring singles was Gould, Neil and Tyler Martin; helpers went to Malik Kaila, Bennett Huber, Wayland Williams, Diego Cuglietta and Zach Hartley.
Kiefer McNaughton gave Chilliwack the first period lead, while Mathieu Tibbet also scored in the loss, while Coach Harvey Smyl was forced to use both his goaltenders. Starting was Lyndon Stanwood, who made 18 of 21 saves before making way for a 17 save effort from relief Josh Halpenny.
Merritt's power play scored three consecutive goals in the second, amassing a 3-for-7 rating, while the Cents killed off 2-of-4.
Centennials forward Adam Tracey and Chiefs defenceman Shay Laurent dropped the mitts late in the game, as Laurent gave Tracey little time to react and the linesman intervened before the two got loose.
The Centennials improved to 11-9-1-0 with the win, while Chilliwack falls to 4-11-1-2 heading back to the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Saturday night for a 7:30 faceoff.
View the full box score here.
Heading in to Saturday's rematch back in Merritt, the Chiefs will need to do exactly what their brass said was the issue to me; consistency. If they can play a solid 60 minutes, fans should be in for a more level grounded hockey game, but for now; the Chiefs' net minders will need to be the last line of defines.