Five-point weekend for Cowichan’s Isles

With two wins and an overtime loss last weekend, the Kerry Park Islanders climbed to second place in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s South Division standings.

The Isles earned a 6-3 road victory over the Saanich Braves last Friday, then were edged 4-3 in overtime by the league-leading Westshore Wolves at home on Saturday. They closed out the weekend with a 4-1 win over the Oceanside Generals at home again Sunday. The Isles got off to a great start on Friday, building a 3-0 first period lead over the Braves on goals by Adam Page, Cam Nickerson (on the powerplay), and Tyson Malloch. They were out-scored 3-1 in the second period, with Zack Smith’s marker keeping the team ahead, but finished strong with two more goals in the third, including a powerplay effort by Nick Kean and an empty-netter by Nickerson.

Braedan Cross finished with four assists, Page and Kean had a goal and an assist, and goalie Ty Rennie made 26 saves for his first

win of the season.

The Isles again built up a firstperiod lead on Saturday against Westshore as Ryan Paisley scored just two minutes into the game and Kean added one with two and a half minutes remaining in the first period. The Wolves potted a goal before the buzzer went, but Kerry Park still held a 2-1 edge going into intermission. Smith scored the only goal of the second period to give his team a 3-1 lead, but Westshore scored twice in the third to force overtime, where league scoring leader Kyle Richter needed just 63 seconds to decide the outcome.

Paisley and Smith each finished with a goal and an assist, and Cody Short had two helpers. Leighton Williams was saddled with the loss in goal despite making 45 saves.

Sunday afternoon’s test saw the Isles start strong once again as they went up 2-0 in the first period on a powerplay goal by Short and a shorthanded marker by Matt Osmond.

After a scoreless second period, the Generals finally answered back in the first minute of the third. Nickerson restored the twogoal lead before Cross buried the Generals with an empty-netter.

Nickerson and Cross both finished with a goal and an assist, and Williams made 53 saves to get his third win of the campaign.

Through seven games this September, the Isles have four wins, two losses and one overtime defeat to sit second in the South behind Westshore. In the individual rankings, Smith and Cross have nine points apiece, Smith with four goals and five assists and Cross with two goals and seven helpers.

Kean is next with eight points (4G, 4A), and Nickerson and Short both have seven (5G, 2A).

The Isles continue play this weekend as they visit the Victoria Cougars on Thursday and are home to the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.