The Merritt Centennials scored with 2:23 remaining in the 3rd to break a 4-4 deadlock, taking their home opener 5-4 over the West Kelowna Warriors in BCHL action on Saturday night.
The Warriors opened the scoring when Liam Blackburn snapped home his first of the season, but the Cents responded off a turnover as Tyler Ward buried his 2nd.
Merritt went up 2-1 early in the 2nd on a Gavin Gould power-play marker, before the Warriors stormed back with 3 goals of their own.
Kristian Blumenschein had a pair of goals, including 1 on the power-play, before Brett Mennear widened the lead to 2.
The Centennials Colin Grannary was awarded a penalty shot in the middle frame, and slid it through the legs of Daniel Mannella to make it 4-3.
Merritt wasn’t done as Gould’s 2nd of the game came on a breakaway marker, as the Warriors out-shot the Cents 15-7 in the middle frame.
The late goal from Nick Jermain was a back breaker for the Warriors, again off a turnover as Jermain spun and fired to beat Mannella.
The Warriors return home Tuesday night against the Trail Smoke Eaters, with puck drop at 7 pm at Royal Lepage Place.