Sunday, September 28, 2014

Centennials Erupt For A 5-0 Win Over Vees In Home Opener:

This was written by PxP man Dave Ashbaugh:

The Merritt Centennials were back in action on Saturday night opening the season at home in front of a packed crowd at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena with the Penticton Vees in town.

Right from the get go you could tell the Cents had a little extra jump in their step as they carried the momentum from the previous nights win into this game.

It didn't take to long before the Red ‘n White found the back of the net as Captain Sam Johnson made no mistake with a beautiful saucer pass to Micheal Ederer on the two on one opportunity as Ederer was able to tap home his first of the game and second of the season.

A rare mistake from goaltender Hunter Miska would allow the Cents to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission after Miska mishandled the long shoot in and Daniel Nachbaur was right on the doorstep to poke it home.

Their was only one tally in the second as James Neil pushed the lead to 3 on another two on one opportunity with Gavin Gould who dished the cross ice pass to Neil who was able to find the top corner of the net from the high slot.

The game went into the second intermission with the Cents leading 3-0.

It didn't take Merritt long into the final frame to ripple the mesh once again as Micheal Ederer found the top corner from a sharp angle on the power play to extend the lead less than 60 seconds into the third.

John Schiavo would then cap off a great game for the Cents adding one more late in the period to put the nail in coffin and secure the win.

Jonah Imoo was solid between the pipes for The Cents as he came away with his first shut-out of the season and grabbing first star of the game honors with his 37 saves.

The Cents are back in action next weekend with another pair of Interior Division matchups as they face off against the Vernon Vipers at home on Friday night, puck drop for that game is at 7:30.


They are then in West Kelowna facing off against the Warriors at Royal LePage Arena, puck drop for that game is at 7:00.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Centennials Open Regular Season With Win Over Capitals:

This was written by PxP voice Dave Ashbaugh:

The Merritt Centennials opened their 2014/15 season today against the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the third annual Bauer BCHL Showcas at the Prospera center in Chilliwack.

 The first period was fast paced and full of action with few stoppages. The first whistle of the game didn't come until almost 5 minutes had elapsed in the first. The Capitals were able to jump out to a 1-0 lead courtesy Colton Kehler who was able to bury the feed from Thomas Gobeil at the 9:35 mark of the first frame, with Brayden Gelsinger notching the second assist.

The Centennials were able to pull even 8 minutes later after Brandon Duhaime put home his first of the season on the power play, the game went to the intermission tied at 1 apiece.

The second period was much the same as the first with each team putting one up on the scoreboard. The Capitals regained their lead just over half way through the frame when Sean Harrison received a beautiful centring pass from teammate Skylar Pacheco.

It didn't take the Centennials long to pull them back however, as John Schiavo with a stellar individual effort was able to strip the defencemen of the puck, walk out front and bury the backhander top shelf just 16 seconds after the Capitals took the lead.

In the third the goals came fast and furious for the Centennials as Diego Cuglietta gave Merritt their first lead of the season 4 minutes into the frame, and they never looked back.

Gavin Gould extended the lead to 4-2 10 minutes into the third after a beautiful stretch pass from James Neil sprung him on a partial break.

The Centennials would further extend their lead just 10 seconds later when John Schiavo and Captain Sam Johnston played some give and go with Schiavo finishing the play for his second of the game and season.

The Capitals would try to battle back late in the third when Thomas Gobeil let one go from the point that beat Jonah Imoo while he was down and out, however that's as close as they would come.

Merritt would walk away with their first win of the campaign, upending Cowichan Valley by a score of 5-3.

The Centennials are back in action tomorrow night to wrap up the opening weekend of this 2014/15 season as they face the home town team Chilliwack Chiefs in a 6 o'clock affair.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Centennials Release 2014/15 Roster:

Introducing the 2014/15 Merritt Centennials!



D- Tyrell Buckley – Penticton, BC
Last Season – OHA, CSSHL
GP: 53
G: 8
A: 23
P: 31
PIM: 4
Buckley was the first blueliner to commit to this years team, and his movement on the ice has shown what made Luke Pierce and Joe Martin recruit him so quickly. He can play quick north-south Hockey, and as he adapts and grows his game he will become a player to watch closely here in the Merritt and around the BCHL.

D- Jake Clifford – Brecksville, Ohio
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 53
G: 4
A: 14
P: 18
PIM: 35
Jake is the epitome of a player you don’t want to come in one-on-one against. Being laid flat on your rear isn’t often regarded as fun, but it’s what Jake can do, right before he weaves through everyone on route from one net to the other. He’s all business, and looks to improve every day, and it has shown. Big season to come, don’t be surprised if it’s his last year of Junior.

F- Diego Cuglietta – Kamloops, BC
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 53
G: 19
A: 37
P: 56
PIM: 28
The biggest inevitability of the 2014/15 season is that fans will once again return to love ‘Super Diego’. He’s ready to once again be a leader, and with such a tight knit group around him, he’s sure to make players on the ice with him better. Here’s a guy who has something to prove, after he became the victim of separate injuries last season; now healthy and ready to put the new scoreboard to good use.

F- Brandon Duhaime – Parkland, Florida
Last Season – POE, CSSHL
GP: 64
G: 23
A: 39
P: 62
PIM: 77
Coming in as one of the top summer recruits, Duhaime brings a speedy game along the walls and toward the net. He’s got a quick release, and isn’t afraid to go hunting for the puck. His vision of the ice will help in his rookie season, but the adjustment period should be short for the former POE star.

F- Michael Ederer – Lancaster, New York
Last Season – Buffalo Jr. Sabres, NOJHL
GP: 53
G: 30
A: 23
P: 53
PIM: 20
A big season in the OJHL putting up incredible numbers brings Ederer to BCHL with high expectations, but through camp he has proven he can live up to his style of play. Great hands in tight spots, and knows how to play below the goal line, something the net front present players will appreciate. The puck moves especially fast whether it’s on or leaving his stick.

F-  Nick Fidanza – Kamloops, BC
Last Season – Chase Heat, KIJHL
GP: 47
G: 21
A: 27
P: 48

PIM: 66
Nick has been a player that continues to make the most of every opportunity he has earned through camp and exhibition. Getting some BCHL experience last season(and the season prior) is an asset for this speedster of a lefty, and his first Junior A goal came against the team he now looks to make his mark on. He scored the lone goal in the exhibition finale, and if he continues to bury his chances he will climb up the depth chart in a hurry.

D- Matt Foley – Lang Meadow, Massachusetts
Last Season – Exeter Academy/Springfield Rifles U18
GP: 28
G: 5
A: 15
P: 20
PIM: 4
Another incoming import, another new face that has became attached to the Nicola Valley. And so the Valley will become attached to Matt as well, as his quick moving game takes him to unpredictable places, while quickly returning to his seat on the blue line when the time calls for it. It can be hard to foresee how a rookie blueliners season will end,  but Matt has shown he’s ready to play in all situations and play big minutes.

F-  Braden Fuller – Grande Prairie, Alberta
Last Season – Beaver Valley Nitehawks, KIJHL
GP: 33
G: 17
A: 24
P: 41
PIM: 96
Winning a KIJHL championship in the spring will give the locker room a bit of that late-playoff experience, though it was at the Junior A level. Given he was playing with Junior A players, Fuller’s playoff ride will surely have helped his game adjust to the quicker speed of the BCHL that much sooner, and it’s been evident as he has contributed in both ends of the rink and shown a team first mentality. Though not the biggest, he enjoys throwing his weight around before looking to set up a crafty play.

F- Gavin Gould – North Vancouver, BC
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 57
G: 13
A: 16
P: 29
PIM: 18
Watching Gavin play in exhibition it was clear of a few things; the same ‘plays bigger than he is’ Gould is back,  except this years seems to look bigger, stronger, and even more willing to come out of the battles with the puck. By the time the d-men find him, it’s usually too late.

F- Colin Grannary – Delta, BC
Last Season – Delta Hockey Academy - CSSHL
GP: 27
G: 25
A: 27
P: 52
PIM: 59
In watching training camp without a clue who the returning players were, you would quickly have come to assume Grannary was one of them. He plays at a high level and as he’ll turn 17 just before the home opening weekend, that comes as a decent surprise to fans of the team. He put up a point per game in nearly a handful of Junior B affiliate games, and his quickness and poise in the offensive zone is going to bring you to your feet.

G- Jonah Imoo – Surrey, BC
Last Season – Powell River Kings, BCHL
GP: 32
GAA: 2.98
Sv%: .896
He’s played his entire BCHL career in Powell River, and it came time for a change this summer when Luke Pierce swung a deal for the 20 year old netminder with a family bloodline flowing through the net and crease. He’s shown how excited he is for this opportunity, and how hard he has worked this summer has shown, with some great sliding saves, showing his movement in on par or better for early season hockey.

F- Sam Johnson – Okotoks, Alberta
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 56
G: 9
A: 10
P: 19
PIM:
A summer of hard training and with a captaincy-to-be, Sam is ready to push his limits in his final season of Junior Hockey. Known for scoring big goals in timely manner, Sam is eager to succeed and knows what it takes to take this team to where it hasn’t been in over 10 years.

D- Malik Kaila – Squamish, BC
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP:
G:
A:
P:
PIM:
Malik returns to the Centennial having put on over 20 pounds of muscle over the summer, looking to increase his presence on the blue-line in both ends of the rink. After going goalless last season, getting one in the exhibition opener is sure to bring this towering d-man confidence in a big sophomore season.

F- Daniel Nachbaur – Seattle, Washington
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 35
G: 6
A: 7
P: 13
PIM:
They could call him the life of the dressing room, or you could call him the life of a game. In any situation, Daniel goes out and brings the intensity and speed up at least 15% around him. He finds an extra gear with the puck, and loves to fire up his team. He’s loud as he is off the ice as he is on, and he’s ready for his play to speak even louder in his 2nd season in Cents colors, in which his dad also once wore #14.

F- James Neil – White Rock, BC
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 41
G: 10
A: 19
P: 29
PIM: 30
He proved last season he was the ‘real deal’, and he’s back for another crack at the Cup along with a former teammate in Jonah Imoo. Putting up big numbers is one thing to look forward to, and his defensive ability is another thing that shows his all-around ability. Much like most of the returning players, it’s worth noting he also got bigger.

F- Devin Oakes – Prince Rupert, BC
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 32
G: 1
A: 6
P: 7
PIM: 40
Devin is a player the entire roster looks to and respects as he is a great teammate off the ice, but even moreso on the ice. When you look at Gretzky, you think Dave Semenko. The game has evolved since then and so has the role, but Devin is an energy enforcer that puts fear in his opponents’ game and also possesses a very strong presence in front of the net, where he is hard to budge from his station.

D- Shane Poulsen – Kamloops, BC
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 58
G: 7
A: 19
P: 26
PIM: 44
Perhaps the biggest surprise to return to the Centennials this year, Shane is back in the hunt for a BCHL title and like Johnson and Cuglietta, will be looked to in a strong leadership role. The thing is, that’s what Poulsen lives for. He is a coaches player and a players player, doing the little things right and not afraid to go for the long bomb pass or the big point shot rocket. Is there much more to say for this 20 year old d-man?

D- Cooper Prechel – Penticton, BC
Last Season – Princeton Posse, KIJHL
GP: 34
G: 2
A: 6
P: 8
PIM: 12
Prechel stood out throughout training camp as one of the players after a very limited amount of roster spots. His ability to make a hard tape to tape pass and play with versatility makes him a player to watch as he begins to play under Joe Martin and Luke Pierce on the Cents’ defense core. Look to him for the breakout pass.

G- Anthony Pupplo – Shirley, New York
Last Season – P.A.L Jr. Islanders – USPHL 18U
GP: 19
GAA: 3.76
Sv %: .898%
After performing very well along with Schiavo at the New York Islanders Prospects Camp, Pupplo knew it was time to head to BC and gear up for the long road ahead. The Centennials are fortunate to have a high potential, high caliber ‘tender to compete with Jonah Imoo, and he seems to work very well with coaching staff, which means mentioning a stint he spent with Cents goalie coach Jamie McCaig in Edmonton this summer; showing his commitment to his game, and importantly this team.

F- John Schiavo - East Patchogue, NY
Last Season – P.A.L Jr. Islanders – USPHL Premier
GP: 42
G: 8
A: 14
P: 22
PIM: 8
Such hands, John has. His work down low and along the boards will help get pucks out of the defensive zone and keep them in the offensive end. Has the ability to make opponents look silly, and he seems to take advantage of the small ice as though roller hockey has helped him adjust long before his time in Merritt. Also brings a great presence to the locker room.

F- Josh Teves – Calgary, Alberta
Last Season – Fernie Ghostriders, KIJHL
GP: 50
G: 10
A: 14
P: 24
PIM: 57
Teves was given the chance to suit up with the Centennials late in the season last year including some playoff action, and looked very good in each of his chances at the next level. He’s got great hands for a back-ender, and has the feet to get up the ice or back in position before putting his team at risk. Yet another d-man on this roster that can move the puck at high speeds.


F- Adam Tracey – Sleepy Hollow, New York
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 49
G: 12
A: 14
P: 26
PIM: 28
Here’s a player fans are looking to for much of the same he brought last season. Always being juggled around with linemates because of unfortunate injuries made getting comfortable tough for Tracey, but in a rookie season it’s important to learn to play all degrees of the game, and settling in to the special teams late in the year is proof of how much he learned. Seems to click with just about anyone on the roster, and has a wicked wrist shot.

F- Rhett Willcox – Surrey, BC
Last Season – Merritt Centennials, BCHL
GP: 41
G: 5
A: 8
P: 13
PIM: 53

The spark plug from last season is back at it again, and with increased size and muscle, not to mention speed, this bull dog will continue to keep eyes on him when he’s on the ice. He’s great in front of the net, and gets the puck out of wherever he sees fit, watch for him to push for more minutes as he gets rolling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cuglietta Off To NCAA In 15/16, Joins LSSU Lakers:

The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club of the British Columbia Hockey League is proud to announce that Kamloops-born forward Diego Cuglietta has committed to Lake Superior State University for the 15/16 season, where he will suit up for the Lakers.

Cuglietta led the Merritt Centennials in assists, points, shorthanded goals and game-winning goals a season ago so this news was probably just a matter of time.

Cuglietta more than doubled his offensive output last season from his rookie 2012-13 campaign and also reduced his penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound forward is expected to lead the offensive charge again in Merritt in the coming season.

At Lake Superior State, Cuglietta will join fellow BCHL alums Aidan Wright, Kyle Chatham, Gordie Defiel, Ryan Renz, Jason Bird and Scott Patterson; with the ladder of which being former teammates.

The Lakers compete in the NCAA's Div. I Western Collegiate Hockey Association against the likes of Michigan Tech, Alaska, Bemidji State and Bowling Green.

The Centennials open the 2014/15 BCHL regular season this coming Saturday morning at 11:30 when they take on the Cowichan Valley Capitals in Chilliwack, before taking on the Bauer Showcase host Chiefs on Sunday at 6 pm. 

Listen to all the action with Dave Ashbaugh beginning 30 minutes prior to puck drop on Q101, and online at Q101.ca. All Centennial broadcasts are also available on FASTHockey at BCHL.ca!

For any questions regarding the scholarship, please contact Head Coach/GM Luke Pierce at (250)378-3607.