The Merritt Centennials of the BCHL announced that the team is withdrawing from the league after this season. The Centennials have been in the league for 51 years but will be moving to the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).

"The Board members past and present have worked extremely hard to maintain 51 continuous years of operation in the BCHL but have finally conceded that continuing into the future is no longer viable," President Ken Carruthers of the Merrit Centennials said in the release.

"We cannot adequately express the gratitude owed to our community, sponsors, business partners, billets, volunteers, fans, staff, current players, and alumni. We have come to the end of our final regular season."

The BCHL has announced that the withdrawal won't affect this year's playoffs and Centennial fans can still see their team perform in the post-season.

We are confident that the current players and staff can have a great run into the upcoming playoffs. To our community, we hope you will attend over the playoffs, and we fill the barn in celebration and pride to the end of 51 hard-fought years," Carruthers said.

The Centennials were also approved to continue to play out of the 1,000-seat Nicola Valley Memorial Arena for the next five years. 

For the full release click here.

The Okotoks Oilers recently joined the BCHL along with four other AJHL teams.