Islanders end exhibition with win over Braves

The Kerry Park Islanders ended the preseason with a 5-3 win over the Saanich Braves on Wednesday night.

The Kerry Park Islanders ended the preseason with a 5-3 win over the Saanich Braves on Wednesday night.

The Braves jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Isles responded with five straight goals before Saanich added one more.

According to owner Mark Osmond, the coaching staff planned to make their final cuts on Thursday.

“Guys were still battling for spots [on Wednesday],” he said. “There will be tough decisions to make. A lot of them will be based on that game. A few of them made it tougher, and a few of them just confirmed what we thought about them.”

Local product Samson McLean made an impression on the ice on Wednesday, and had a big contingent of fans in the stands as well. Missing from the lineup was Caleb Franklin, who was still in the Cowichan Valley Capitals camp on Wednesday.

If Franklin sticks with the Caps, the Isles will have just four players back from last year’s team when the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season opens. Osmond feels the rebuilt team will still compete.

“I’m optimistic we’re going to have a good year,” he said. “We just have a very young team.”

The Isles will play their season opener next Wednesday on the road against the Westshore Wolves. The home opener is set for Saturday, Sept. 10 against the Peninsula Panthers at 7:30 p.m.