Centennials’ 2017-18 regular season begins Friday

By on September 7, 2017
This year's Merritt Centennials squad will feature a mix of returning vets (such as Chase Bell, Jake Berger and Henry Cleghorn), alongside a big crop of new recruits (like Jack Vincent and Alex Bourhas). (Ian Webster and Cole Wagner/Herald).

 

The Merritt Centennials have  released their schedule of games for the 2017-18 BCHL regular season.

Once again, the Cents’ 58-game schedule features 29 home games and 29 away games, although two of those games will be played at the sixth-annual BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.

Merritt’s away game at this year’s Showcase is against the Langley Rivermen on Thurs., Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. Their home game at the Showcase is the following day, Sept. 22, versus the Prince George Spruce Kings at 10 a.m.

The Centennials’ season kicks off officially on Friday, Sept. 8 when they host the defending BCHL playoff champion Penticton Vees. That is just one-half of a high-powered home weekend, as the following night, it’s the U.S.-based Wenatchee Wild who roll into town.

Saturday’s game against the Wild will be the first of six meetings between the two teams, as Wenatchee has moved to the BCHL’s Interior division. 

Click to enlarge.

Merritt will also play its five other  Interior Division rivals (Penticton, Salmon Arm, Trail, Vernon and West Kelowna) six times —three at home and three away.

The Centennials play all other BCHL teams in the Coastal and Island Divisions twice — once at home and once away — except for Prince George and Langley who they play a total of three times.

Of the 28 Cents’ games actually played at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, 19 are on either Friday or Saturday, four are on Sunday, three on Wednesday and two on Tuesday.

The Centennials have two four-game home stands — in late September and in the middle of February. They also have two four-game road trips (or to be more accurate, four away games in a row) — in early November and in the first part of February.

MORE: Cents pare down roster ahead of opening night
              Cents’ legend Eddy Beers to be honoured Friday night

Merritt’s busiest months are January and February with an even dozen games each month, followed by October with 10, and September, November and December each with eight. 

There are several notable Cents’ home games that should be circled on the calendar:

Friday, Sept. 8 vs. Penticton and Saturday, Sept. 9 vs. Wenatchee

As previously mentioned, this is one doozy of a doubleheader to kick off the new season. The Vees are always one of the best in the country, while the Wild led the league in points during the regular season last year.

In addition to player introductions of this year’s Cents’ team, Friday’s game will honour former Centennial Eddy Beers (see below), while Saturday’s showdown with the Wild will be preceded by a rousing tailgate party in the parking lot, with music provided by the Bobby Garcia Band.

Friday, Oct. 27 vs. Trail and Sunday, Oct. 29 vs. West Kelowna

What better way to celebrate Parents’ Weekend and the annual Ice Breaker fundraiser than by bookending the celebrations with games against two of Merritt’s arch-rivals in the Interior Division.

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