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Cents announce new bench boss

The Merritt Centennials have announced they have named Barry Wolff the team’s new head coach and general manager.

Wolff most recently coached the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), taking over midseason last year and leading them to Game 7 of the league finals this season, where they eventually lost in overtime to the Portage Terriers.

His most recent BCHL gig was with the Coquitlam Express from 2013 to 2017, coaching them to a Fred Page Cup title in 2014.

Wolff is eager to get going with a franchise with as much history as the Centennials.

“It’s the oldest franchise in the BCHL,” he said in a release from the Centennials. “There’s a lot of tradition there and I’m just excited to be a part of it.

“I think the first job is to go over the personnel the team has. What the needs are, and start looking for the players that will give us the best chance to win.”

Originally from Kelowna, Wolff brings 24 years of junior hockey coaching experience to the team. He also won a gold medal as an assistant coach for Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge.

He will replace former Centennials coach and reining BCHL Coach of the Year Joe Martin who departed for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs after the season.