First place Chiefs take on mighty Merritt

The Chilliwack Chiefs put their winning streak on the line against a very capable Merritt Centennials squad in BCHL weekend action.

The BCHL’s hottest team takes on an Interior division power this weekend as the Chilliwack Chiefs face the Merritt Centennials.

The teams play a home-and-home.

The Chiefs are in Merritt Friday night, and back home Saturday night for a 7 p.m. start at Prospera Centre.

The Chiefs look to keep their winning streak intact (six) against a Centennials team that presents lots of problems.

Chilliwack got to know Merritt all too well last season as members of the Interior conference.

The 2011-12 Cents are similar to the 2010-11 team in their ability to play sound defensive hockey.

Only Chilliwack, Penticton and the West Kelowna Warriors have yielded fewer goals than the Centennials, who cough up just 2.73 per game.

Veteran netminder Tyler Steel is a big reason, winning 11 of 19 appearances with a 2.62 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

Merritt does struggle to put the puck in the net.

Only three teams have scored fewer goals than the Centennials, who are led by 19-year-old Maple Ridge native Regan Soquila.

His 23 points in 22 games make him Merritt’s only point-per-game player.

Sebastien Pare and ex-Chief Derek Huisman lead the team with seven goals apiece.

Five of Huisman’s goals have come on the power play and the 20-year-old has 13 points in 22 games overall.

Check Tuesday’s Progress for a weekend wrap.