Cowichan’s Islanders on the brink of playoff eliminaton

Headed into Game 5 tonight (Thursday, March 9), the Kerry Park Islanders found themselves down three games to one in their first round match-up against the Victoria Cougars in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs.

On March 2 at their home rink, Archie Browning Arena, the Cougars jumped all over the Isles in the first game of the series, scoring five goals before Kerry Park had one.

The Islanders matched Victoria shot for shot, however, and at 10:42 of the middle frame it paid off when Lukas Tokic fed Colby Robinson for the team’s only goal of the game. Victoria went on to score once more in the third period to take Game 1 by a 6-1 score.

The Isles bounced back the following night at Kerry Park Arena, however, beating the Cougars by a 4-2 score to even the series at a game apiece.

After two Victoria goals, Aleko Sdrakas scored late in the first to cut the lead in half. Assists went to Carson Brown and Eric Stinson.

The second period two goals — both from Kerry Park. Brown scored both first from Sdrakas and Stinson, then from Kellan Bates and Henry Toomer. The pair of goals propelled the Isles ahead of the Cougars 3-2.

An empty netter from Tokic late in the third period iced the game for the Isles. Noah Hovde got the assist on the goal.

Game three was a battle to the end, and beyond as the Cougars needed overtime to best the Isles 5-4.

The first period featured four goals overall, three of which belonged to Victoria. The lone Isles goal came off the stick of Bryce Burnett from Brown and Keagen Abbott.

Robinson scored in the second from Bates to pull the Islanders to within one heading into the third period.

Victoria scored just over a minute into the third period to take a 4-2 lead but Kerry Park battled hard to get back in it. Burnett started the comeback with a goal 11:546 in from Robinson and Carson Strom. Brown scored unassisted to tie it at 4-4 with less than six minutes left to play. Brown’s goal forced overtime and it took Victoria 4:31 to earn the game-winner and the 2-1 series lead.

The teams met again on Tuesday, March 7 at Kerry Park Arena for Game 4. Victoria got the jump early with two goals before the 10-minute mark of the first but Brown continued his wicked scoring pace, potting a goal to pull the Isles to within one. Robinson got the helper.

Two Cougars goals came in the second putting the Islanders down 4-1 heading into the third. That lit a fire under Kerry Park as Bates and Tokic scored from Robinson and then Abbott and Sdrakas respectively.

Victoria wouldn’t yield, however and with an empty netter, went on to win Game 5 by a 5-3 score.

The Islanders must win Game 6 to keep their hockey season alive as the Cougars look to end the series with a win tonight at Kerry Park.

cowichan valleyJunior B HockeyShawnigan LakeVIJHL

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