The Kerry Park Islanders played better in a 6-5 double overtime loss to the Victoria Cougars than they did in a 5-3 regulation win over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday.
One rough stretch in the second period and an overtime goal made the difference against the Cougars, who sit atop the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s South Division, while the Isles weren’t at their best against the North Division basement-dwelling Glacier Kings.
“I definitely thought we played well on Sunday,” Kerry Park head coach Aaron Spotts said. “We went through a bad stretch, and Victoria is definitely a team that can score; we got away from our game plan and they capitalized on their powerplay opportunities. Overall, the kids battled extremely hard. I was proud of the effort.”
The Cougars went ahead 2-0 on a pair of powerplay goals early in the first period, but the Isles answered back with a powerplay marker of their own from Tanner Tiel. Kerry Park scored four in a row in the second period, beginning with a powerplay goal by Isaac Leik, followed by goals from Evan Easton, Tiel and Logan Furkalo. The Cougars scored two more before the second period was over and got the tying goal on a third-period powerplay. Victoria forward Booker Chacalias ended the game at 3:50 of the second overtime.
Tiel finished the night with three points, McClintick added three assists to his league-leading total, and Easton added three helpers to his goal and now holds a two-point lead over Chacalias for the league scoring lead.
Against Comox on Saturday, the Isles got goals from Riley Windsor and Furkalo in the first. Windsor added a powerplay goal early in the second before the Glacier Kings replied with two. Leik scored on the powerplay midway through the third, and Furkalo appeared to cap things off with a shorthanded empty-netter. Still pushing hard, the Glacier Kings managed to score a powerplay goal with 27 seconds left to play.
Tory McClintick finished the night with two assists. Rook made 13 saves for the win, and Matthias Smith stopped 37 of 41 shots in the loss.
“I don’t think we were at our best,” Spotts said. “We had a lot of chances to score, but I don’t think the focus was where we needed it to be. Give Comox credit: they battled and stayed in the game.”
The Isles are still jockeying with the Saanich Braves for second in the South. Kerry Park has 70 points to Saanich’s 67, and both teams have five games left. The Isles visit Nanaimo on Thursday, and are home to Comox on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Isles haven’t played the Nanaimo Buccaneers since Oct. 20, when Kerry Park won 9-4. Spotts doesn’t think it will be that easy this time.
“Their team looks different,” he said. “They’re a team that definitely has some offensive power. They’re a good team. Obviously we need to be playing at our best to compete with them.”