Friday, February 17, 2012


It was a game any Express follower would quickly want to forget about. It was all Merritt Centennials in a 8-0 drubbing.

The visitors had a strong opening period. They were rewarded with their first goal 15 minutes in when Carter Shinkaruk snapped a shot from the slot past Khaleed Devji.

The Cents struck in the opening minute of the second period when Regan Soquila tipped a wrist shot by Evan Stack.

Then came a sequence of puck possession for Merritt that saw the Express chasing the puck in their own zone for at least 90 seconds.

Back to back powerplays for the Express midway through the period couldn't give them the boost they were looking for to try and get back into the game.

The Cents top unit of Evan Stack, Soquila and Chad Brears were at it again late in the period. They won a draw deep in the Express end, got the puck to the net and eventually Stack poked it in.

That goal was followed 47 seconds later by a tally from Jakob Reichert as he out waited Devji then slid it through his legs to give Merritt a 4-0 lead heading to the third.

The goals kept coming in the third from Stack, Reichert again, Billy Marshall shorthanded and Brandon Bruce to finish off the scoring.

Khaleed Devji was on the hook for 6 of the goals on 31 shots.

Tyler Steel was steady when called upon making 31 saves for his third shutout of the year.

Merritt has now won two in a row outscoring their opponents 15-1 in that time following a 6 game losing streak that saw them score just 5 times.

No time to dwell on this one for the Express as they have Cowichan Valley in town Saturday.

Perhaps its time to tug on a nostalgia cord and remember a 8-0 game the wrong way for the Express late in 06 to the Chilliwack Chiefs. That loss sparked a 13 game winning streak that carried into the playoffs as the Express began their march to the 2006 Royal Bank Cup championship.

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