Battered Islanders manage split weekend

Still battling a rash of late-season injuries, the Kerry Park Islanders split a pair of games against rivals from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s South Division last weekend.

The Isles eked out a 3-2 win over the Saanich Braves on Friday, and followed it up with a 6-2 loss to the Westshore Wolves on Saturday.

Tied 2-2 with the Braves, the Isles found themselves shorthanded for the last four minutes. Not only were they able to kill off the penalties, they managed to win the game on a shorthanded marker from captain Eric Mansueti.

Matt Osmond scored the Islanders’ first two goals, giving him four on the season.

"He had a good game," Islanders owner – and Matt’s dad – Mark Osmond said. "He’s really stepped up lately. He’s moved up the ladder and had more ice time and taken advantage of it."

The Isles hosted the Wolves at the Island Savings Centre on Saturday and managed to keep it close until late in the second period when the Wolves scored twice to make it 5-2. Colton Burt and Hobin Zinck scored for Kerry Park.

Osmond compared the last two games to the two from the previous weekend, when the Isles lost 2-0 and 6-1. "We played better in those games," he said. "Our effort was better. This week I thought our effort level could have been higher."

The Isles will wrap up the regular season this weekend when they visit the Peninsula Panthers on Friday and host the Saanich Braves at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Kerry Park will kick off the playoffs against the Victoria Cougars on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Archie Browning Arena, followed by a home date on Saturday, Feb. 22.