The Cents faced the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for games five and six of the first-round of playoffs, on April 12 and 13.

The 2023-23 season has officially wrapped up for the Merritt Centennials.

Friday, April 12 – Salmon Arm Silverbacks 1, Merritt Centennials 0

The Merritt Centennials hit the ice on April 12 against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for their fifth game in the seven-game series at Shaw Centre.

It was a goaltending duel during the first-round playoff series between the Centennials and the Silverbacks Friday night, and Silverbacks’ goalie Eli Pulver came out on top.

The first period saw the only goal of the game as Silverback’s Jonah Aegerter found the back of the net during a power play at 15:30.

Pulver stopped all 17 shots the Cents threw at him for the 11th shutout of his career, and first in the postseason.

Like Pulver, Andrew Ballantyne was incredible in net for the Centennials, making 36 saves on 37 shots.

The Cents fell 1-0 against the Silverbacks in game five in the best-of-seven games.

Saturday, April 13 – Merritt Centennials 1, Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4

The Centennials hosted the sixth game in the playoff series against the Silverbacks on Saturday, April 13.

Silverbacks’ Nathan Mackie found the back of the net over four minutes in the first period.

In the second period, Silverbacks’ Cole Cooksey added another goal to the visitors’ team, scoring his third goal during the postseason.

Jaxson Murray added a goal for Merritt, scoring his third goal during the postseason and decreasing the Silverbacks’ lead to one goal.

The third period was marked by two unanswered goals by Silverbacks’ Isaac Lambert and Cole Cooksey, which crowned the 4-1 victory to Salmon Arm.

After 51 years in the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League, the Cents said goodbye to an era on Saturday, April 13, at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

The Cents will make a fresh start next season in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).

The Silverbacks are moving on to round 2 of the BCHL playoffs, in which they will face either West Kelowna Warriors or Cranbrook Bucks.