The Kerry Park Islanders didn’t look like a newly assembled and inexperienced bunch on Saturday as they routed the Peninsula Panthers 6-1 in their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League home opener.
The Isles scored once in the first period, four times in the second, and once again in the third to win convincingly and move to 1-1 on the season.
“The first period was good, but I didn’t think we played as well as we should have; we took a few too many penalties,” Islanders owner Mark Osmond said. “In the second they started taking penalties and we capitalized a bit. “
Despite earning the win, Kerry Park goalie Rett Rook was fuming, believing he should have had a shutout. The Panthers’ alleged goal, Osmond said, went off the crossbar into the netting above the glass, and shouldn’t have counted. Rook still finished the game with 24 saves on 25 shots.
“He was choked he didn’t get the shutout,” Osmond said. “He played well with what he had to deal with. I like our goaltending tandem [of Rook and Chase Anderson]. They’re very strong.”
Tanner Tiel opened the scoring for the Islanders with the only goal of the first period. Ty Smith potted the eventual game-winner 11 minutes into the second. After Peninsula got on the board 21 seconds later, the Isles added three more in the middle stanza from Brandon Wilson, Scott Smith and Parker Ellis. Wilson added his second of the night early in the third period to finish with two goals and two assists.
Tiel and Scott Smith each added an assist to go with their goals, and Connor Bissett had two helpers. Caleb Franklin and Will Connors had single assists.
“I’m liking our team,” Osmond said. “They’re very young — we’ve got one 20-year-old, two 19-year-olds, and the rest are 18, 17, 16 — but they’re fast and hungry. I hope that stays.”
The Isles’ next two games are rematches against teams they’ve already faced this season. They will try to hold off the Panthers again on the road on Friday, then they’ll attempt to avenge their season-opening loss to Westshore when they host the Wolves on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.