Home > Chiefs Hockey > Cents Bring It In 2nd Period, Dismiss Chiefs

Cents Bring It In 2nd Period, Dismiss Chiefs

I’ll keep this one fairly simple here, guys.

The Chilliwack Chiefs had five second period shots. The Merritt Centennials had five second period goals.

Now, I know there was much more to it than that, but that’s a telling statement right there. Scott Patterson scored a hat-trick, and finished with four points as the Cents rolled to a 7-2 victory. Harvey Smyl mentioned to me pre-game that he felt his team took a step back Wednesday against Langley. Friday was a half-step in that same direction.

Chilliwack took a lead into the second period on Kiefer McNaughton’s power play blast with ten seconds left in the first, and you could feel a bit of a jolt in the building. It lasted about six minutes and fourteen seconds. It was then that Sebastian Pare, who had a big night himself with a goal and three assists, froze Lyndon Stanwood from the left circle off the rush. It was on from there, as Merritt scored three times with their lethal powerplay, and that was that.

Credit to Luke Pierce’s team for playing a near perfect road game. Not only were they efficient offensively, they were Merritt-Typical stingy defensively. The coaching staff has been looking for and hoping for more second and third chances from the Chiefs throughout this early part of the year. Against Merritt, it seemed at times like getting the puck deep, and maybe a shot and a rebound were enough to celebrate. This Merritt group can grind you down. They won a ton of little battles along the wall, and they made gaining the zone very difficult for the Chilliwack forwards.

The Chiefs have no choice but to respond on Saturday night, and do so in a big way against the same team in the not-so-cozy confines of the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Merritt knows their rink, they know the boards, and they know the bounces. And if the Chiefs thought it was tough to move out there at Prospera on Friday, it’s only gonna feel more cramped on Saturday night. Kudos to Luke Pierce’s team for making it seem that way. They deserved to win, and they did.

Now, keep in mind that the Chiefs have bounced back from some blowout losses before. After being run over by Powell River in the season opener, they responded with a 1-1 tie against a good Vernon club the next day.   A day after losing 7-1 in Prince George on September 13th, they beat those same Spruce Kings the following night in overtime. October 20th’s 6-2 loss in Victoria was followed up by a 2-1 loss to Cowichan in which the Chiefs certainly deserved a point, SO….

These guys can bounce back after a night like this. No question about it.

It won’t be easy, though. And it will be up to them.

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Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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