Cents Win AGAIN in OT

70
MER Ice

WAYNE MOORE

(ISN) – The Merritt Centennials continue to have the West Kelowna Warriors
number this season.

The Centennials got a goal from defenceman Shane Poulsen at 4:01 of
double overtime in a 4-3 win over the Warriors Friday at Royal LePage
Place.

The Warriors have dropped all four meeting with the Centennials this
season, three in overtime plus a 2-1 loss on home ice in early October.

Poulson’s game winner on a breakaway during the three-on-three overtime
period came seconds after Jonathan Desbiens shot wide on a breakaway of
his own.

Earlier in the second overtime defenceman Nick Rutigliano was stopped on
a breakaway following a picture perfect pass from Jordan Masters who
returned to the line-up after missing eight games with an injury.

The Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period on goals
from Rylan Yaremko and Andrew Johnson.

Yaremko’s first BCHL goal came on a wrist shot from 15 feet out. Johnson
made it 2-0 two minutes later when he beat Anthony Pupplo five-hole on a
partial break down the left wing.

The Warriors had chances to increase the lead but Liam Blackburn and
Masters both had shots ring off the goal post.

The Centennials took the game over in the second period and, if not for
the spectacular netminding of Scott Patton, could easily have gone up
four or five.

“No disrespect to Desi (Andy Desautels) and even he said in the locker
room if he’s (Patton) not playing that way tonight we get shelled
probably 7-3,” says assistant coach Brent Gough.

“He made some huge saves for us at key times and kept us in the game
when we needed some big saves. I think over the last three games when
he’s been in net he’s given us a chance to win every night.”

Diego Cuglietta cut the deficit in half midway through the second on a
Merritt power-play then Daniel Nachbaur evened it on a shorthanded
breakaway 29 seconds into the third.

Merritt took its first lead of the game midway through the third on
another power-play before Jason Cotton evened the score on a Warriors
power-play with 1:43 remaining in regulation time.

Both teams had a chance to end it with power-play chances in the
four-on-four overtime period, however neither was able to find the back
of the net until Poulsen’s game winner in the dying moments.

“I thought we played a good 20 minutes and went up 2-0 and maybe we
thought they would pack it up and go home but they’re a good hockey
club…they work hard and fought to get back in the game,” says Gough.

The Warriors dominated the season series with the Centennials the past
two seasons, going 13-0-1-1, but this season, those roles have been
completely reversed.

“For some reason we just can’t find a way to win or close it out. We’ve
been up a few times on them and we can’t figure it out.

The good thing is we get a crack at it again tomorrow to get back at it.”

The Warriors will host the Victoria Grizzlies Saturday at Royal LePage
Place.

The Grizzlies will be in a snarly mood after losing 10-4 in Trail Friday
to open their three game Interior road trip.

While the Warriors have now lost two in a row in overtime they have also
managed to pick up points in 10 straight games (6-0-4-0).

The single point keeps the Warriors in second spot in the Interior
Division three points better than Vernon and Merritt.

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