Cents in Victoria Tonight:

Tonight the Centennials play their third game in four days as they make their lone visit to Bear Mountain Arena to face the Victoria Grizzlies.

For the Grizzlies, it’s their last game of a three game home stand. They are 2-0 so far, with both wins coming in overtime.

The Cents want to keep things rolling as they posted their first shutout of the season and Lino Chimienti’s first of his BCHL career last night with a 3-0 win over Nanaimo. Although I didn’t see the game, from what I’ve heard, the Cents played as close to a perfect road game as possible in getting the victory. Not sure of any lineup changes tonight as I’m awaiting an email from Luke Pierce confirming who’s in and who’s out tonight. Dustin Lebrun and Richard Sabourin sat out last night, but from what I understand, both are healthy and Luke was planning to sit out the odd guy during the trip with so many games in such a short period of time.

Tonight’s game marks the first match-up for Dustin Johnson against his former team and first meeting of the season between Merritt and Victoria. They’ll lock horns at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Wed. December 1. Johnson was traded by the Cents to Victoria last month. Brett Kolins was picked up from the Grizzlies in that deal and didn’t report to Merritt, he’s playing junior ‘B’ hockey in the PIJHL. Johnson, meanwhile, is maintaining the same pace with Victoria that he had with the Cents, compiling 12 points (6g, 6a) in 14 games.

Merritt was 0-2 against Victoria last season and hasn’t beat the Grizzlies since December 10, 2006, a 6-2 win at home. Check out the boxscore for a blast from the past! The Cents haven’t won in Victoria since November 19, 2004, but what a win it was, 8-1 over the then-Salsa.

This season is one of the few for the Centennials in which they don’t have any players on their roster from Vancouver Island, so this isn’t a homecoming for any of them. Not like when they play Coquitlam/Surrey/Langley, when seven players are playing close to home.

Catch the game tonight on Q101 in Merritt (101.1 FM) or www.Q101.ca or www.BCHL.ca. Pre-game show at 6:45, opening faceoff at 7:15.

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