The Kerry Park Islanders earned five of a possible six points last week as they split two games with the Oceanside Generals, the loss coming in overtime, and claimed a vital victory over the Westshore Wolves, who lead the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s South Division.
The stretch started with a 4-3 win over Oceanside in Parksville on Wednesday.
“They’re a tough team to play,” Islanders owner Mark Osmond said of the Generals. “They’re very aggressive. It was a good team performance. We’re getting lots of shots; there should be more going in.”
Kayden Peck struck first for the Isles, but the Generals got a pair of powerplay goals and led 2-1 at the first intermission. Keenan Eddy scored at 6:29 of the second, but the Generals pulled ahead again just 40 seconds later. Brandon Wilson and Peck found the net in the third to put the Isles up. Peck finished with three points on the night, and defenceman Connor Bissett had two assists, while Parker Swanson earned his first VIJHL win with 38 saves. Each team had eight powerplays on the night; the Generals converted on two, while the Isles were denied every time.
Between Wednesday and Saturday’s home game against Westshore, the Isles went through some turnover on the roster. Forward Braydon Nelson came back from a brief stint in the Saskatchewan junior A league, while Kerry Park lost winger Didrik Wasson-Lillehaug, who went home to Europe, and defenceman Patrick Keon, who left the team. They also released blueliner Jerin Dosanjh.
They sorted things out quickly enough to pick up a 6-3 win over the Wolves. Parker Ellis and Keenan Eddy staked the Isles to a 2-0 lead, but the Wolves scored a pair in the second half of the first period to even things up. Ellis, Kayden Peck and Samson McLean put the Isles up by three in the second before the Wolves answered back with one, and Nelson celebrated his return with a third-period marker. Ellis finished with four points, Peck had three, and Eddy and Nelson two each. Chase Anderson made 30 saves in the win.
The win was a costly one for the Isles, who lost Bissett when he took a slapshot to the ankle, and McLean to a shoulder injury.
The team was also without forward Brandon McClintick on Sunday as he was called up to the Victoria Grizzlies. Despited a depleted roster, they still managed to take the Generals to overtime before falling 2-1. Ellis had Kerry Park’s lone goal in the first. The Generals answered back in the second, and no one scored again until former Cowichan Valley Capital Brodie Smith beat Anderson at 1:10 of the second overtime. Anderson finished with 39 saves, while Jacob Sweet had 43 for Oceanside.
“We controlled a lot of the game,” Osmond said. “Their goalie stood on his head. Five of six points isn’t bad, but we were disappointed to lose that game.”
Sunday’s game was also costly for the Isles, who lost Keenan Eddy to a “vicious” hit to the head and Tory McClintick to another hard hit.
The Isles’ homestand continues this coming weekend as they host the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the Victoria Cougars on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.