The Merritt Centennials hope the new additions to their front office will bring steadier tidings as the season carries into the heart of November.
After firing Barry Wolff in mid-October, the reigns were passed over to Derek Sweet-Coulter and his new assistants Paul Barnes and Zach Wright. Since the departure of Wolff, the Cents strung together a couple of wins before losing the last two in a row to start November.
The new look to the Nicola Valley crew faces a major test early this month with only one home game between November 1 and 22.
The Cents started the month venturing into Wenatchee. The team came back and showed heart in both games before back-to-back third period surges by the Wild took the clutches of victory away from Merritt in handing the Centennials 5-2 and 6-4 losses, respectively.
Merritt now goes in for a home and home against one of the league’s top teams in Salmon Arm before hitting Vancouver Island for two games, and then finishing the stretch in Surrey against the Eagles.
— Merritt Centennials (@BCHLCentennials) November 3, 2019
The Cents offense has recently been hot, including Josh Kagan, who has 12 points in his last nine games. Kagan came over from Cowichan Valley in late September and he hasn’t been the only one pushing the team forward as Brett Roloson, Payton Matsui, and Daniel Tkac are all on pace for breakout years in points.
Merritt’s special teams had the breakthrough it needed as their 60-plus power play goalless drought ended when Troy Quinn buried his second of the season late in the second game against Wenatchee.
With the emergence of a young group, the growing familiarity of the new coaching systems and getting the power play monkey off their back, it could be what the Cents need to get back to their feet as they drive into winter near the midpoint of the BCHL season.