The Chilliwack Chiefs played their preseason opener Wednesday night (Sept. 7) in Hope, falling 4-2 to the visiting Merritt Centennials.
The game was played at the Hope and District Recreation Centre, and the Chiefs got off to a rough start. The ‘home’ team trailed 2-0 through 20 minutes after Merritt goals from Jacob Smith and Brayden Sinclair.
After a scoreless second period, Chilliwack got on the board 2:48 into period three with a power play goal by Darius Bachler. Nico Grabas also scored for the Chiefs in the final frame, but the Centennials got markers from Jaxson Murray and Mark Thurston, the latter into an empty net.
Merritt goalies Damon Cunningham and Merik Erickson combined to make 37 saves on 39 shots while Cole Savage went the distance in the Chiefs net, stopping 30 of 33 shots.
Chilliwack’s five-game preseason slate continues tomorrow night (Friday, Sept. 9) when they host the West Kelowna Warriors at the Chilliwack Coliseum. Puck drop is 7 p.m.
The Chiefs have a 6 p.m. start Saturday (Sept. 10) against Powell River at the Coliseum before finishing preseason play with road games at Merritt (Sept. 16) and at Penticton (Sept. 17).
They begin the regular season Sept. 23 at Langley and play their home opener Oct. 1 versus Merritt.