Goaltending C+

There were high expectations between the pipes this year with the tandem of third-year BCHL-veteran Jonah Imoo coming over from Powell River and highly-regarded 19-year-old rookie Anthony Pupplo arriving from the state of New York.

Both goalies started the season like a house on fire, and at one point were ranked one and two in the league. Those numbers have tumbled to 13th and 21st, as Imoo battles back from injury and Pupplo searches for consistency. The jury is still out.

 Defence C+

The surprise return of 20-year-old Shane Poulsen was a huge blessing, as the Cents had only two other veteran blueliners slated to be back this year (Jake Clifford, Malik Kaila). All three have logged major minutes as they break in a rookie group that has had its ups and downs.

Injuries to Kaila and November -acquisition Cole Arcuri have strained the Cents’ backend severely, and the forwards haven’t always been the best of help in their own end. The team is allowing far too many goals against.

 Offence B+

The Cents’ coaching staff made good on their promise to finally find more scoring prowess, recruiting highly-touted John Schiavo and Michael Ederer from back East, and discovering Colin Grannary in their own backyard. Veterans Gavin Gould and Diego Cuglietta have picked up right where they left off last year, while Poulsen, Clifford and rookie Josh Teves have all chipped in from the backend.

The team’s goals-per-game average is up almost half-a-point from last year, (3.03 to 3.50).

Special Teams B

Merritt’s powerplay and penalty kill were both off-the-charts in September, before injuries and improved opposition special teams brought the Centennials back down to earth in a hurry.

The Cents’ PP rediscovered its touch on the team’s trip to the Island, and has been rolling along at a 36% clip (9-for-25) ever since. The PK status is a bit more ‘iffy’, as the Cents have surrendered at least one man-advantage goal to their opponents in every game this month. Merritt is currently ranked 6th and 7th in the two departments.

 Coaching B+

Four years together and counting, bench boss Luke Pierce and assistant Joe Martin are becoming the ‘greybeards’ of the BCHL’s coaching ranks.

All joking aside, this good-cop-bad-cop duo continues to excel in so many areas — both on and off the ice — in one of the smallest markets in the league. They’re not afraid to make the tough decisions when it comes to recruiting, making cuts, carrying out trades, assigning roles, etc.

All that’s left for this twosome to prove is — Can they win it all?

 Intangibles B

For the second season in a row, the Cents have been decimated by injuries in the early going — first to Imoo and rookie Braden Fuller, then to the since-departed Adam Tracey, followed by veteran Kaila and newly-acquired Arcuri.

Despite the shortened bench, the healthy bodies have soldiered on — logging extra minutes and fullfilling unexpected roles.

The knock? At times, the Cents have been fragile with the lead, and seemingly reluctant to exert their will. Consistency remains the key to success.