While the Centennials may have won the final meeting between these two teams last season, the Smoke Eaters replicated one of their six wins against the Cents from last year on Thursday night.
They were dominant from the first puck drop of the night, out shooting the Cents 17-6 in the first period. While they didn’t score, the Smoke Eaters set a precedent for the night as they controlled the play for most of this game. Josh Dias, goaltender for the Centennials, was a big part of why the Cents made it out of period one tied at 0.
In the 2nd the Smoke Eaters got back to the attack and finally got one past Dias, as Noah Wakeford picked up his second of the pre season on a turnover in the Merritt zone, as a backwards d-to-d pass was picked off by Wakeford to make it 1-0.
The Smoke Eaters would then go to the 2nd intermission out shooting the Bucks 29-14, and up 1-0 on the scoreboard.
In the 3rd it was the quick start by Quinn Disher to give the Smoke Eaters an insurance marker, as he beat Dias just 14 seconds into the third period. Then three minutes later it was the captain Cody Schiavon on the powerplay to make it 3-0. Schiavon who added his second powerplay goal in as many games let a shot go from the left point to beat Dias. The rest of the third then saw multiple misconducts due to scrums after the whistle. That, plus a 3-0 lead late in the third, allowed some of the Smoke Eaters depth players to get some additional ice time. Time they made the most of, with Zack Feaver scoring his third of the preseason and Zach Park scoring his first, just 34 seconds apart with under two minutes remaining in the third to give the Smoke Eaters a 5-0 win and their fifth win of the preseason.
Goaltender Cayden Hamming picked up his first shutout as he stopped all 22 shots he faced, including a big blocker save on a 2-on-1 late in the third period. The Smoke Eaters finished the night with 46 shots of their own.
1st: TRA – Cody Schiavon – 1G
2nd: TRA – Cayden Hamming – 22/22 SV
3rd: MER – Josh Dias 41/46 SV
The Smoke Eaters next game will be on Sunday against the Prince George Spruce Kings, with puck drop at 3pm on BCHLTV, Mixlr and Shaw Spotlight.