The Kerry Park Islanders didn’t do anything the easy way last weekend.
The Isles waited until the very end of regulation to decide both their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games, nearly causing heart attacks for their coaches while earning valuable points and preventing their opponents from getting any.
On Saturday, the Isles scored the winning goal with just 31 seconds left as they edged the Saanich Braves 4-3. They also won 4-3 on Sunday afternoon, getting the winner against the Oceanside Generals with 70 seconds on the clock.
Owner Mark Osmond was pleased with his team’s play as they ran their winning streak to three games.
“Saturday was a good team performance, three solid periods,” he said. “Everyone was working well.”
Osmond also noted that the Isles are “getting better” with regard to taking unnecessary penalties.
“They’re getting the message that when someone slashes you, just grin and bear it,” he said.
On Saturday, the Isles saw 2-0 and 3-2 leads disappear before Zack Smith scored the late winner. Kerry Park also got goals from Kyle Green, Corey Peterson and Patrick Poets in the win. Peterson added one assist and Ryan Paisley had a pair of helpers. Between the pipes, Chase Anderson stopped 24 of 27 shots for the win.
On Sunday, the lead went back and forth until David Bittner scored the winner on the powerplay with a minute and 10 seconds remaining. Green, Lynden Eddy and Tanner Browne also scored, while Connor Bissett had three assists and Keenan Eddy had two.
Peterson was assessed 31 minutes in penalties in the game, including a 10-minute misconduct in the second period and a game misconduct in the third, all apparently for responding to abuse he had been taking, unpunished, throughout the game.
It wasn’t lost on Osmond that 20-year-old four-year veteran and unsung hero Green scored the Islanders’ first goal in both games.
“He’s one of those guys who don’t get a lot of attention, but he does the right things, and he’s chipping in with some points,” Osmond said.
The VIJHL South Division standings remain cramped with just two points separating second place from fifth. The Isles, third with 13 points, can put some valuable space between themselves and the fifth-place Peninsula Panthers in a home-and home series this weekend.
The teams will play in North Saanich on Friday and Mill Bay on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, they will once again try to defeat the Victoria Cougars, who will pay a visit to Kerry Park Arena at 3 p.m.
The Isles are well aware of what it will take to beat the Cougars.
“It’s the same old thing with Victoria. They live and die on the powerplay. They’ll do anything to get the other team in the box.”