CENTS: Martin selected to coach prospects’ game

By on January 17, 2018
Cents’ goalie Austin Roden picked up his first shutout of the season and was selected as the third star of the game, in the Cents’ victory over Vernon on Jan. 12. (Ian Webster/Herald).


You can put another feather in the cap of Joe Martin, as the Merritt Centennials’ head coach and general manager was recently named as the head coach for Team West at the upcoming CJHL Prospects on Jan. 23.

Martin will travel to Missausaga, Ont. to take part in the all-star game, which will feature the best junior A players from across Canada going head to head — with a ton of NHL scouts in attendance.

“It’s a real short amount of time — we fly in on Monday evening and we’ll have a dinner in kind of a banquet setting. On Tuesday morning, they go for some testing in front of the NHL guys, and I’ll be there watching,” said Martin. “Then we’ll have a meeting before a meal — and that’s the only time I really get with the team before we get on the ice as a team.”

Martin said despite the short time frame, his focus for his team will be emphasizing the importance of competing, every single minute.

“These guys are thought of as possible draft picks and free agents. To do that, a scout has to put their name beside them. For some of these guys, you treat it as one 60 minute game to get a guy to attach his name to you.”

Berger commits to Minnesota State

Merritt’s starting goalie will be headed back to his hometown to play college hockey.

Jake Berger. (Herald files).

Twenty-year-old Jake Berger committed to play for the Minnesota State Mankato for the 2018-19 season.

“Jake has been a loyal guy for two years. He’s been a loyal teammate and he’s the same everyday. He works,” said Joe Martin, Cents’ GM and head coach. “He’s great in his billet, he’s great in the community and it’s nice for our players to look up to him.”

The product of Minnetonka, Minn., Berger has played the last two season in Merritt, earning a 28-37-2 record while posting three shutouts.

The Week in Review

Friday, Jan. 12

Merritt 5 Vernon 0

Five different Cents scored in front of the home-town crowd, while Zach Risteau put on a show in his first game back at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, recording three assists on the night. Austin Roden got the shutout for the Cents.

Saturday, Jan. 13

Trail 5 Merritt 4

After trading goals in a high-flying first period, the Cents saw their 3-2 lead evaporate in the second as Trail’s Kale Howarth banged in his second goal of the game from the crease on the powerplay. A shorthanded goal in the third proved costly for Merritt.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

Wenatchee 4 Merritt 3

One of the top teams in the BCHL managed to stave off a late comeback effort by the hometown team. After Henry Cleghorn tied it at three midway through the third period, Wenatchee’s Jasper Weatherby found twine with his 30th goal of the season, with only two minutes remaining in the game.

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