Islanders lose two, slip back below .500

Usually, five goals are enough to win a hockey game.

Usually, five goals are enough to win a hockey game.

The Kerry Park Islanders found out that sometimes five aren’t enough as they scored that many in back-to-back road games last weekend, and still suffered back-to-back losses.

“All of a sudden, we’ve got no defence or goaltending,” said Islanders owner Mark Osmond, whose team lost 9-5 to the Nanaimo Buccaneers last Thursday and 8-5 to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday. “Until last weekend, defensively we were doing great and we had good goaltending. The last two games, the wheels fell off.”

Making it even worse, the Islanders outshot their opponents in both games. The official scoresheets had the shot count at 33-32 in Kerry Park’s favour on Friday and 39-19 on Saturday.

“In Comox, I felt strongly we were going to romp away with it,” Osmond said. “When we were up 4-2, and even when it was 4-4, I thought we were going to win. In the third period, it was like our guys gave up. It was a long bus ride home.”

Recent addition Tait Aptakin had a goal and two assists against Nanaimo, and Keenan Eddy had a goal and one helper. Caleb Franklin, Graham Winship and Corey Peterson also scored, and Chris Carpentier had two assists.

On Saturday, the Isles got a goal and an assist each from Carpentier, Eddy and rookie Franklin, who extended his goal-scoring streak to four games. Peterson and Zack Smith also scored, and Tanner Browne and Parker Ellis each had a pair of helpers.

Ty Rennie started both games in goal and twice had to be replaced by backup Chase Anderson. Neither goalie had an excellent weekend, but Osmond was quick to point out that it was an unusual occurrence.

“Our goalies let a few bad goals in this time but they haven’t been the problem all year,” he said.

For a couple of weeks, the Islanders had stayed at .500, but they weren’t able to get past it, and will now have to work their way back.

“I don’t understand it,” Osmond said. “I really don’t. It seems like we get to the .500 mark and just can’t push over it.

“All it comes down to is playing 60 minutes of hockey. Until they get their heads around it, it’s always going to be the same way.”

The Isles currently sit third in the South Division, just one point ahead of the Peninsula Panthers and six back of the second-place Westshore Wolves.

“Our goal is still to finish second, but we keep making it hard on ourselves,” Osmond said.

The team will visit the Saanich Braves Friday and host the Victoria Cougars Sunday at            7:30 p.m in their only home game of December. The Cougars will be playing their fourth game in eight days, and Osmond is hoping his team can catch them at a low point.

“Maybe I’ll get an early Christmas present,” Osmond said.