Back-to-back all-out efforts resulted in back-to-back victories for the Kerry Park Islanders last weekend as the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team defeated the Westshore Wolves 5-2 on Saturday evening and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 9-4 on Sunday afternoon.
"We played really well all the way through both games, and our effort got us wins," Kerry Park captain David Bittner said. "Against Westshore, we played a full 60. Part of the second period against Comox, we eased up a bit, but we found a way to get back in it and finished strong."
After a scoreless first period against Westshore, Braeden Cross got the Isles on the board with a shorthanded goal less than a minute into the second. The Wolves answered back, then took the lead, but Tanner Browne’s goal with two seconds to spare evened it up heading into the third. The third period was all Kerry Park as Ryan Paisley scored just eight seconds in, Patrick Poets added to the lead two minutes later, and Kyle Green wrapped up the scoring.
Cross finished the night with a goal and two assists, and Bittner and Lynden Eddy each had two helpers. Leighton Williams earned the win with 36 saves and picked up an assist on Cross’s goal.
The nine goals scored on Sunday matched the team’s seasonhigh, set on Sept. 6, also in a win over Comox. The Isles took a 4-1 lead in the first period on goals by Paisley, Matt Osmond, Lynden Eddy and Cross, and never looked back. Cross completed the hat trick with two in the second as his team went up 6-2, and Nick Kean, Green and Keenan Eddy added goals in the third.
Cross ended up with five points on the night, while Lynden Eddy had four, and Kean had three. Green added an assist to his goal, and Browne, Nick White and Adam Page each collected two helpers. Williams was back in goal and stopped 37 of 41 shots.
Bittner is hopeful that the team can build some momentum from last weekend.
"Lately we’ve been playing well, but until these last two games, the luck wasn’t going our way," he said. "We were able to get two wins, and everyone on the team bought in. It’s the start of something new. It’s better to get your stride toward the end of the season before playoffs than peak early and fade away."
The Isles have two home games this weekend, playing host to the Peninsula Panthers at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and the Saanich Braves at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
"We’re expecting to win these games," Bittner said. "We want to get a bigger gap between us and Saanich and we’d like to get closer to Westshore. We need solid efforts all the way through. It’s the same game plan."