The Kerry Park Islanders are undefeated in 2016.
It’s still early, but the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team has won all three of their games since the calendar rolled over, and six of their last eight going back into December.
The Isles kept going with a 4-3 road win over the Saanich Braves Friday, followed by a 1-0 home victory over the Westshore Wolves on Saturday, in which Chase Anderson earned his second shutout of the campaign.
Friday’s game started with an action-packed first period, where the Isles couldn’t hang on to the upper hand, letting the Braves draw even twice at 2-2 and 3-3. After a scoreless second period, Kerry Park went ahead for good on Tait Aptakin’s goal midway through the third.
“It wasn’t our best game, but we did enough to win,” Islanders owner Mark Osmond said.
Ryan Paisley scored twice to bring his team-leading total to 16. Kyle Green had a goal and an assist, and Connor Bissett and Keenan Eddy each had two helpers. Anderson stopped 22 of 25 shots for the win.
Both the Isles and Wolves were going full-bore on Saturday.
“It was more like a playoff game,” Osmond said.
The teams battled through two scoreless frames before Lynden Eddy finally scored on a point shot on a powerplay four minutes and 23 seconds into the third period. Anderson made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season.
Between the pipes for Westshore was former Islander Leighton Williams, who turned aside 30 of 31 shots.
The Isles’ recent surged has moved them into second place in the tight South Division, two points ahead of the Peninsula Panthers, and third in the league, one point up on the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
The team will try to keep its perfect 2016 record alive this weekend with a road game Friday at Campbell River and a home game Saturday against the Oceanside Generals at
7:30 p.m. Neither game is against a divisional opponent, but with just 11 contests remaining in the regular season, they remain important.
“Every game has a huge impact,” Osmond said.
The Islanders didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline, although they were on the lookout for available players.
“There wasn’t anybody who could make our team better,” Osmond said.
The team had hoped for the return of last year’s top scorer, Braedan Cross, who had been playing junior A in Saskatchewan and Manitoba this season, but he ended up with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL.