Merritt Centennials snap the West Kelowna Warriors eight game winning streak

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Photo Credit: Tami Quan Photography

The game started the same way it did back in October 12th, the last time the Warriors travelled to the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Goaltender Connor Hopkins was peppered with shots on net leading to three Centennials goals to start the game. Rylan Van Unen was the first to fire one past the goaltender off a lead pass, and Matt Kopperud was able to receive another lead pass from his own zone to swing loose and score giving the Centennials an early 2-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of the first period. The pressure in the Warriors zone would continue with Wyatt Head taking a holding penalty leading to Brendan Schneider scoring his ninth of the season giving the Cents a 3-0 lead heading into the dressing room.

 

The Warriors started the second period with numerous players in the penalty box leading to more trouble. Cents star forward Nic Granowicz was able to put not just one, but two power play goals past Connor Hopkins to take a 5-0 lead within 5 minutes of the second. The Warriors would finally get on the board with Mason Richey springing Bennett Norlin loose on a breakaway who made no mistake making it 5-1. The momentum wouldn’t last long as the Warriors would get into more penalty trouble giving Nick Sabin and Joey Berkopec easy goals making it 7-1 Warriors. The Warriors would answer back with Lucas Cullen receiving a Mason Richey feed behind the net and the lead was cut to five with three minutes to go in the second. The Centennials would then answer back with relentless pressure in the Warriors zone in the final two minutes of the period allow Brad Cocca to score off of a juicy rebound giving the Cents a 8-2 lead going into the third.

 

The Centennials took their foot off the gas pedal in the third period giving the Warriors numerous chances on Cents goaltender Austin Roden, but Roden was razor sharp only allowing one goal in the period. The Warriors needed some sort of spark heading home and it was Lucas Bahn who was able to put one past the hot goaltender to make it 8-3. It was Lucas’s first ever BCHL goal which was scored in front of his Mother who traveled all the way out from the Nashville area to watch him play this weekend as a part of the Warriors “Parent’s Night”. The Warriors would end up out-shooting the Centennials at the end of the game but Roden didn’t necessarily face any quality scoring chances compared to the Cents. The Centennials are now sitting atop the Interior Division with the Vees and Warriors tied for second place.

Shots on Goal: 45-37 in favor of the Warriors

3 Stars:

  1. MER F Nic Granowicz   (2G-1A)
  2. MER   F Mathieu Gosselin   (0G-3A)
  3. MER   G Auston Roden    (42 Saves)

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