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No fewer than 12 players who wore a Centennials’ jersey on a regular basis last season are no longer with the club. Some of the players graduated, some accepted scholarships to schools on both sides of the border, while some were traded to other teams.
Here’s a catch-up on where those former Centennials are, and what they’re up to.
The 20-year-old Mancuso, from Coppell, Texas, played just one season for the Centennials, amassing two goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 60 regular season and playoff games.
The rugged, stay-at-home defenceman had planned to end his junior hockey career this past March and head off to college in Minnesota. Instead, Mancuso found his way back to Canada, and is enrolled at TRU in Kamloops.
When the schedule works, Mancuso is playing part-time for the Osoyoos Coyotes of the KIJHL – the same team that he had played for prior to catching on with the Centennials. In just 11 games since the beginning of October, the tall Texan has garnered one goal and three assists for four points.
Last year’s team captain was one of the most popular players to ever wear a Centennials’ uniform. The Calgary native played two full seasons for Merritt following one year of Junior B with the Princeton Posse. Stack was noted for his tremendous work ethic and leadership qualities.
Following a stellar second BCHL campaign that saw him score 36 goals and add 36 assists for 72 points in 69 regular season and playoff games, Stack earned a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
An early-season concussion has limited Stack’s playing time thus far for the Minutemen. He has played in just four games, and has yet to pick up any points.
Originally from West Vancouver, Pfeil spent two seasons playing for the Merritt Centennials. Last year, he racked up nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points in just 54 regular season games.
The smooth skating defenceman is enjoying an excellent freshman season of Ivy League hockey at Brown University in Providence, R.I. He was recently named the ECAC Player of the Week in December for his four-point performance (one goal, three assists) in the Bears’ 7-2 win over American International College. The victory helped Brown finish third overall at the holiday UConn Hockey Classic.
Next season, Pfeil will be joined at Brown by current Centennials’ goalie Tyler Steel.
Originally from Cold Lake, Alberta, Brears is continuing his hockey career in the southern United States at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He is playing alongside former BCHLers Jeff Vanderlught (Surrey), Anderson White (Chilliwack), and Graeme Strukoff (Victoria).
In 21 games for the 3-17-1 Chargers, the speedy Brears has picked up one goal and one assist for two points. Recently, UAH lost 5-2 to perennial powerhouse Boston College.
In two seasons with the Centennials, Brears played a total of 125 regular season and playoff games. In his breakout 2011-12 season, he scored 30 goals and added 34 assists for 64 points in 67 games.
The long, tall Marshall – who calls Smithers home – had a tremendous final season with the Centennials, playing huge minutes on the blueline. In 69 regular season and playoff games, the rushing D’man scored 14 goals and added 26 assists for 40 points. He also accrued 64 PIMs looking after his teammates when the need arose.
Marshall is playing scholarship hockey at Mount Royal University in Calgary. In their first CIS season, the Cougars are 4-14-0 in regular season play. In 18 games, Marshall has one goal and three assists for four points.
Born in Surrey, Willcox played two seasons with the Centennials, scoring 13 goals and adding 31 assists for 44 points in 118 games. The rangy defenceman also played for the gold-medal-winning Canada West U19 team at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge in Langley.
On scholarship at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Willcox has played 15 games for the Big Red, recording two assists.
A Richmond native, Low spent parts of two seasons with the Centennials before being moved to the Powell River Kings early in the 2012-13 BCHL season. In 56 regular season and playoff games with Merritt, Low tallied six goals and 13 assists for 19 points.
A face-off specialist, Low has scored four goals and added five assists for nine points in 14 games with the Kings.
After three seasons with the Powell River Kings, Shinkaruk was a trade deadline acquisition by the Centennials in January, 2012. The veteran forward played a big role in helping Merritt make it to the Interior Division finals in last season’s BCHL playoffs. In 31 games as a Centennial, the Langley native recorded six goals and six assists for 12 points in total.
Shinkaruk is playing NCAA Division III hockey this season at Elmira College in Elmira, New York. In 13 games for the Soaring Eagles, Shinkaruk has five goals and one assist for six points. One of his teammates is former Centennial and Burnaby Express Dylan Herold.
A native of Cranbrook, Bruce played a little more than one season for the Centennials before being traded to the nationally number 1-ranked Brooks Bandits of the AJHL in November for Sam Johnson. In 87 games for Merritt, the feisty centreman recorded 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points.
In 10 games with the Bandits (38-1-0-1), Bruce has four goals and one assist for five points.
The Centennials’ very popular French Connection played the better part of two seasons between the pipes in Merritt.
The Laval, Que. native started a total of 78 regular season and playoff games in net for the Centennials. In 2009-10, his GAA was 3.11, and his save per cent 0.894. In his second year, Chimienti improved those stats to 2.86 GAA with a 0.907 save per cent.
In his first season at Hobart College in upstate New York, Chimienti is playing behind a pair of goaltenders in their senior year; he has yet to get a start. The Statesmen are an impressive 11-1-2 in league and exhibition play.
After being moved to the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League at the trade deadline last January (to make room for Carter Shinkaruk), the 20-year-old Lebrun was traded this past summer to the Lloydminster Bobcats of the AJHL.
The forward from Coquitlam has flourished with the ’Cats. He is leading the team in scoring with 10 goals and 19 assists in 40 games played.
During his season-and-a-half as a Centennial, fan-favourite Lebrun tallied 17 goals and added 11 assists in 83 regular season and playoff games.
After two seasons with the Centennials, Reichert was traded to his hometown Langley Rivermen in the summer of 2012. In 104 regular season and playoff games with Merritt, the bruising Reichert amassed 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points along with 165 PIMs.In 32 games this season with the Rivermen, Reichert has scored three goals and added 14 assists for 17 pts. Photos courtesy of V22 Photography