A 4-3 overtime victory over the Saanich Braves on Friday night gave the Kerry Park Islanders their second win of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season.
The Isles opened the 2019-20 campaign with a string of nine straight losses, but appear to have turned things around with back-to-back wins over Saanich.
“It’s a big turnaround,” Islanders owner Carl Ollech acknowledged.
Recent acquisition Corey Mater potted the winner, redirecting a pass from Alex Villa at 3:33 of the first overtime for his second goal in three games with Kerry Park.
“Tape to tape, and it was in,” Ollech commented.
The Isles led 2-1 after the first period and were up 3-2 as time ticked down in the third when Foster Martin scored for the Braves with three seconds left to play and forced overtime.
Villa, who was acquired from Westshore in the same deal as Mater, finished the night with a goal and three helpers, and now has five points in three games with Kerry Park.
Parker Bergstrom, the Isles’ leading scorer with five goals and eight points in nine games, had two powerplay goals in the game against Saanich.
Spencer Deakin earned the win in the Kerry Park net, making 47 saves as the Isles were narrowly outshot 50-49.
“We had lots of shots,” Ollech commented. “We played extremely well.”
The Isles remain last in the VIJHL’s South Division, but are making up ground on the fourth-place Braves. Ollech is confident his team’s strong play will continue.
“We’ve got a couple of harder games coming up,” he said. “I think we’ve got a good chance of putting some points up, even with the top teams.”
The Isles will visit the Victoria Cougars this Friday, then host the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday, starting at 7:30 p.m.