The Kerry Park Islanders are looking to last year’s Cowichan Valley Capitals team for inspiration in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs.
Like the 2019 Caps, the 2020 Isles squeaked into the postseason, beating out just one team for the last spot in the playoffs, and were seeded into a different division. The Caps went on to knock off the first-place Penticton Vees in the first round, and the Isles are hoping to do the same to the Oceanside Generals.
“You never know,” Islanders owner Carl Ollech said. “It might be a big upset like last year with Penticton and the Caps.”
The Generals won all four regular-season meetings between the teams, outscoring Kerry Park 22-6.
The playoff series opened in Parksville on Tuesday, and the teams will battle in Mill Bay on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Game three is set for Friday in Parksville, and game four will go on Sunday in Mill Bay at 3 p.m.
If necessary, game five is set for Tuesday, March 3 in Parksville, game six is set for Wednesday, March 4 in Mill Bay at 7:30 p.m., and game seven is set for Saturday, March 7 in Parksville.
Rebuilding this season after the bulk of last year’s roster moved on, the Isles were a “hodgepodge,” Ollech admitted, but they’ve worked hard to get where they are.
“They’re all excited,” he said. “They didn’t think they’d get this far. These kids earned it.”