Defenceman Kelly Slater skates for the Kerry Park Islanders in a game against Saanich earlier this season. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Isles battle hard in loss to Cougars

Saanich and Oceanside up next for Kerry Park

The Kerry Park Islanders lost 6-2 to the Victoria Cougars in their lone Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game last weekend.

“It was a hard battle,” Isles owner Carl Ollech said. “The boys played extremely well. The kids battled. I think they outplayed the Victoria team in the second and third period.”

The Cougars were up 2-0 after the first period and 5-0 after the second. Oren Louie got the Isles on the board at 5:26 of the third. The Cougars added one more before Colten Thompson closed out the scoring for Kerry Park.

Nick Haisell faced 50 shots — the second time in four games this season that he has reached the century mark — and made 44 stops, while Brett Anderson stopped 27 of 29 shots in the Victoria net.

“They put their heart into it,” Ollech commented. “[Haisell] stood on his head.”

Louie was named Kerry Park’s player of the game after scoring his first junior B goal.

“He was the hardest worker out on the ice,” Ollech said of the 2002-born forward. “They all worked hard but he had a lot of opportunities to score goals.”

The Cougars’ first four goals came on the powerplay and they finished 4-for-10 with the man advantage, while the Isles were 0-for-2. Duncan’s Evan Easton, who led the VIJHL in scoring with the Isles last season, had a goal and two assists for Victoria and now has nine points in four games this season. Cougars captain Cam LeSergent, another Duncan product, had two assists, and now has 11 points in five games this year.

The Isles have added forward Hikaru Kinowaki to their ranks. The 20-year-old played last season with the South Muskoka Shield of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League, posting 13 goals and 16 points in 23 games.

Kinowaki is from Japan but has played all his hockey in Canada and the U.S., and just received clearance from BC Hockey to play in the Vancouver Island league.

“We’re really happy he’ll be part of our starting lineup,” Ollech said.

Former Islanders forward Braydon Nelson is returning to Kerry Park after playing most of last season with the Nanaimo Buccaneers and Ollech hopes to see him in the lineup this weekend.

Although he’s pleased to be adding experienced players like Kinowaki and Nelson, Ollech is happy with the way the youngsters on the team have been playing so far.

“We see a lot of really good things coming out of these kids as the season progresses,” he said.

The Isles are winless through five games this year, but still just four points back of the Saanich Braves for fourth in the South Division. Kerry Park visits Saanich this Friday, then plays host to the Oceanside Generals on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The team is still looking for billets and volunteers to help out on game days. For more information, contact Ollech at 250-701-1116 or islandersjuniorhockey@hotmail.com

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