Despite a valiant effort, the Merritt Centennials managed one point over over a pair of home games last weekend, playing host to two of the top teams in the BCHL’s Interior division.

Dec. 1, 2023: Merritt Centennials 4, West Kelowna Warriors 5 (OT)

The Nicola Valley Memorial Arena was stuffed with toys on Friday evening when the Cents hosted the West Kelowna Warriors for the annual teddy bear toss night.

A back-and-forth first period saw 15 shots apiece, though no bears hit the ice just yet as the Warriors took a 1-0 lead.

The teddies came raining down just over three minutes into the middle frame, when Charles-Thomas Larochelle notched his fourth of the year. It provided a spark for the Merritt offence, registering two more off the sticks of Michael Felsing and Jaxson Murray just minutes later to go up 3-1.

Both sides saw plenty of chances in the third, with Merritt poised for the win up 4-3 with just under two minutes remaining.

West Kelowna pressed for the equalizer at the 18:26 mark, before league-leading scorer Felix Caron gave the Warriors the winner in overtime.

Dec. 2, 2023: Merritt Centennials 2, Penticton Vees 3

The top-ranked Penticton Vees were in town the following night, in what turned into a battle between the pipes.

The Vees took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, with Merritt’s lone goal coming off the stick of Larochelle. Neither team was able to find the board in the second period, before Penticton added an insurance marker with just under five minutes to go.

Dylan Lariviere closed out the scoring in the final minutes for the Cents.

The Cents are on the road this weekend, visiting the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Dec. 8 before heading to Alberni Valley the following night to take on the Bulldogs.