The Merritt Centennials paid there first and only visit to the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night. Coming into the game the ‘Cents led the season series 1-0 after picking up a win back on September 28th at the Nicola Valley Arena. Langley was coming off a huge 6-3 win over Victoria on Friday night, while the Centennials beat the Penticton Vees 1-0. James Barr would go up against Russell Sanderson in net.
Merritt came out of the gates with great jump and their hard work paid off with a goal from Scott Patterson at the 8:22 mark. After Barr made a couple of saves, a scramble ensued around the net and the puck ended up laying on the goal line for a few seconds and then was cleared off a Rivermen stick to the slot where Patterson was and rifled home the games first goal with Barr out of the net. The ‘Cents would take advantage of a 5 on 3 power play shortly after. Sebastien Pare would walk in off the left-wing wall and rip home a shot from the slot underneath Barr’s blocker. 2-0 would be the lead the Centennials would take into the second period and had a shot advantage of 20-7.
The ‘Men would have a better second period, but still could not solve the ‘Cents back-up netminder. Merritt Captain Brent Fletcher would score the frame’s lone goal on a shorthanded goal set up by Regan Sequila on a perfectly executed 2 on 1. Barr would stop 14 of 15, while Sanderson turned aside all 14 he faced.
Sequila and Huisman would put the Rivermen away in the final 20. It was a convincing 5-0 win for Merritt as they were exactly as advertised. Sanderson would be the winning goaltender and picked up his first career BCHL shutout stopping all 32 shots. Barr was busy all night seeing 48 pucks.
Merritt is not the flashiest of teams, but they rarely get out worked and were smothering defensively all contest. With the win they now have recorded back to back shutouts and will be a scary team to face in playoffs.
Langley on the other hand, did not have their best performance and will not have much time to think about this loss as they travel to Surrey for a rare Monday afternoon game on “Family Day” here in B.C.