Cowichan’s Islanders return to winning ways

The Kerry Park Islanders picked up their first win of 2015 and ended a nine-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Peninsula Panthers at home last Sunday.

"We got the monkey off our back, for sure," said captain David Bittner, who had three assists in the win. "We were super conscious of it. There were nine games in a row we could have won, should have won, with that uncertainty whether we’d get a win or not. "We buckled down and said, ‘It’s not getting to 10.’" The Isles jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Patrick Poets, Taylor Armbruster and Braedan Cross. Then went up by four when Jamie Jensen scored in the second period, and were up 4-1 after two periods. Peninsula got within a pair when they scored in the first minute of the third period, but Abe Lamontagne restored the three-goal edge before Cross wrapped up the scoring with his second goal.

Jensen and Lamontagne each recorded a goal and an assist, and blueliners Tanner Browne and Chris Carpentier had two helpers apiece, while goalie Leighton Williams stopped 35 of 37 shots. "It was very relieving," Bittner said. "We played a full 60-minute game. We played perfect positional hockey. We looked excited to play out there."

Last Friday, the Isles were edged 3-2 on the road by Saanich.

Saanich led 2-0 after two periods.

Kyle Green cut the lead to one early in the third frame, but the Braves notched another midway through the period. Green potted his second of the game on a late powerplay. Williams finished the game with 16 saves on 19 shots.

Bittner hopes the team is back on track.

"No one wants to go through that again," he said. "Our goal is to get ahead of Saanich and beat Westshore in the first round of the playoffs."

The Isles will visit the Westshore Wolves on Friday, then host the Victoria Cougars on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.