Goalies Nick Haisell and Spencer Deakin once again gave the Kerry Park Islanders a couple of chances to win tough games against top Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League clubs last weekend.
Haisell made 33 saves in a 5-1 loss to the North Division-leading Campbell River Storm on Friday night, and Deakin turned aside 43 shots in an 8-1 defeat at the hands of the Peninsula Panthers on Saturday.
“Nick played extremely well,” Islanders owner Carl Ollech said of Haisell’s play in Campbell River. Deakin missed the game with an illness, and the team had to scramble to find an emergency backup, so the team was relieved that Haisell was able to go the distance.
The score was tied 1-1 after the first period, with Cory Mater scoring Kerry Park’s goal. The rest of the scoring was all Campbell River, although the Isles had two goals disallowed.
The Storm outshot the Isles 38-15, and, according to Ollech, the biggest difference was not just in shots overall but also in quality shots.
“We couldn’t hit the target,” he lamented.
Deakin was back between the pipes when the Isles played host to the Panthers on Saturday. Peninsula jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, and led 4-0 before Kirk Whittaker got Kerry Park on the board with his first as an Islander at 18:45 of the second. The Panthers added four more in the third, and VIJHL scoring leaders Tanner Wort and Riley Braun each finished the night with four points for Peninsula.
The Panthers went 4-for-10 on the powerplay, while the Isles failed to score on their two extra-man opportunities. The Isles were outshot 51-19.
Ollech was pleased with the players’ effort.
“They’re hard-working kids,” he said. “They’re passionate. They’re very loyal to the team and very loyal to the community.
“Win or lose, I’m proud of the kids.”
The Isles will be away for both games this coming weekend, at Peninsula on Friday and against the Oceanside Generals on Saturday.
“They’re winnable games if we keep our heads, if we keep ourselves in the right frame of mind,” Ollech said. “We’ve come a long way from the beginning of the season to now.
“I’m hoping to get at least two points this weekend. If everything is clicking, we have a good chance.”