Riding a three-game winning streak, including a couple of convincing victories, the Kerry Park Islanders may have felt a little too good about their recent fortunes in the Vancouver Island Soccer League as they prepared for last weekend’s games.
A 7-1 defeat in Campbell River on Friday and an 8-2 loss at home against the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday showed they’ve still got work to do.
“There are a lot of good teams in this league,” Islanders owner Mark Osmond said. “We’ve got a good team, but the players have got to understand, you can’t just win a game by stepping on the ice.”
First-period injuries to Samson McLean and Braydon Nelson took two thirds of Kerry Park’s top line out of the game in the early going, but it was still 1-0 after the first period and 3-1 after the second, with Griffin Abbott’s goal keeping the Isles within range.
“I still thought that if we scored the next goal, we’d be good,” Osmond said.
A plethora of penalties prevented the Isles from getting any closer. The Storm scored four times in the third period, including two powerplay goals, to put the game away.
“We didn’t play well in the third and we paid for it,” Osmond said.
Chase Anderson went the distance in the Kerry Park net, making 37 saves in the loss.
Osmond and the coaches hoped to turn things around at home on Saturday, but it wasn’t any better.
“Five of the team showed up,” the owner said. “The rest of them were apparently still on the bus home from Campbell River.”
The Bucs led 3-1 after the first, with Keenan Eddy scoring Kerry Park’s lone goal. Nanaimo scored three more in the second and two powerplay goals in the third before Brandon Wilson finally replied for the Isles. J.J. Pichette got the start and lasted one period, stopping seven of 10 shots. Chase Anderson played the second and third and stopped 25 of 30 shots. Crofton’s Derek Krall stopped 26 of 28 shots in the Nanaimo net.
The Isles hope to get back in the win column this weekend as they visit the Oceanside Generals on Friday and host the Peninsula Panthers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., two teams currently below .500. Kerry Park will be without Nelson, who is expected to be sidelined for two weeks, and Will Connors, who was suspended two games for a hit from behind during the Campbell River game.
“On paper, those are two teams that we should beat comfortably,” Osmond said. “But if we play like we did on Saturday, we’ll get beat.”
The Isles will also be hitting the sidewalks in the South Cowichan area this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to collect bottles. Proceeds will be donated to Cops for Cancer when Tour de Rock visits Mill Bay.