The Merritt Centennials three-game swing through the Mainland and Island Divisions of the BCHL over the Thanksgiving weekend started well but went a whole lot south in a hurry.

After edging the Powell River Kings 2-1 on Friday night to kick off their tour of coast communities, the Cents were on the receiving end of a pair of 5-1 thumpings, courtesy of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday night and the Surrey Eagles late Sunday afternoon.

The Merritt-Powell River matchup on Friday was a close-checking affair for the full 60 minutes of regulation play. The Kings tallied the only goal of the opening period as the Cents definitely showed the effects of a day-long bus ride that began at 6 a.m.

To their credit, the Centennials responded with a strong second period, and were rewarded with two unanswered goals of their own – by rookie Diego Cugliatti (his first in the BCHL) and by Regan Soquila on the powerplay.

Both netminders – Merritt’s Tyler Steel and Powell River’s Jonah Imoo – shut the door for the remainder of the low-scoring contest that saw the Kings outshoot the Cents 25-19.