The Merritt Centennials have announced a pair of commitments this week, with more news to follow before Canada Day.
Sebastien Pare, a high calibre offensive forward, has committed to Mt. Royal University in the CIS, following a pair of seasons with Merritt in which he was looked to for leadership and production.
Jason Bird, a very strong puck moving defenceman, has committed to Lake Superior State University, a Division 1 program in the NCAA. Jason was acquired at the trade deadline to bolster the back-end, and played a key role in the Cents' late season success.
I have attached the official releases below.
Apologies to fans who were hoping for a breakdown of commitments this week, between myself and Luke Pierce we have planned to make official announcements at a later date.
Jason will join Scott Patterson on the Lakers roster next season.
The Toronto, Ontario product was acquired near the 2013/14 trade deadline by the Centennials, after previously suiting up with the Vernon Vipers and Coquitlam Express in the BCHL, and Vaughn Vipers of the OJHL.
Jason compiled 10 points in just 20 games in a Cents uniform, with over 160 Junior A games under his belt.
“In the short time Jason spent with our organization he made a significant impact with his maturity and leadership.” Centennials Head Coach Luke Pierce stated, while adding that Jason possesses a unique skillset, “His skating and ability to run an offence from the back end make him a very unique talent and I have all the confidence that he will have success at the Division 1 level.“
Jason made a special note to pass on thank you’s to Luke Pierce, Joe Martin and the entire organization, “They made me feel welcome from day 1 and made my short time there very enjoyable. Without their help and support this opportunity may not be possible.“
“Being from Toronto; it is a school that is close by and that a few of past teammates of mine have gone to over the years.” Bird said, “I am very thankful for the opportunity that they are giving me and I can't wait to get down there in a couple months and get started.”
From the entire organization we congratulate Jason, and thank him for his contributions to our organization, and our city.
The Surrey, BC product played in 110 regular season games with the Centennials over the past 2 seasons, totaling 31 goals and 90 points.
“Sebastien is very deserving of this opportunity to attend Mount Royal and continue his hockey career.” Said Head Coach Luke Pierce, “I know he will continue to grow as a player there, and under new coach Bert Gilling he will be given every opportunity to further his career after University which I believe he is capable of.”
Pierce added that Sebastien will join a pair of familiar faces, “Along with former Centennials Bill Marshall and Derek Huisman I hope to see Sebastien help Mount Royal be a serious threat in CIS Hockey.”
“We want to thank Seb for his contributions both on and off the ice here in Merritt and wish him all the best in his next life venture.” Pierce concluded.
Sebastien’s BCHL career began in 2011/12 with the Langley Rivermen, following a pair of seasons in the PJHL.
The Centennials would like to congratulate Sebastien and his family on this tremendous and well-deserved opportunity.
For further information, please contact Cents Head Coach and GM Luke Pierce at 250-378-3607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the Cents on Twitter at @BCHLCentennials and on Facebook.com/MerrittCentennials
Season tickets are still available for the 2014-15 season. For more information on how to get yours, call the Cents Marketing office at 250-378-3604.
The Merritt Centennials are heading in to the 42nd consecutive year, which is the BCHL's longest continuously run franchise, and are a non-profit, community owned Junior 'A' Hockey Club run by a dedicated team of investors, directors, and volunteers.