Isles shut down by Cougars

The Kerry Park Islanders continued their struggles against the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League powerhouse Victoria Cougars, losing 4-0 at home last Saturday.

The Isles got off to a decent start, and the game was scoreless after 20 minutes. However, the Cougars got going early in the second, and led 3-0 by the end of the middle frame after adding two powerplay goals. Victoria added one more midway through the third period for good measure.

"I thought we played a good game in the first period, but in the second period, we took some penalties, and you can’t take penalties against those guys," Islanders owner Mark Osmond said. "We ended the game strong. I can’t fault our guys for the effort they put in."

The game marked the Islanders’ annual tribute to Nick Collins, a young minor hockey goaltender and volunteer who died in November 2007 after he was struck by a car. His parents, Bob and Jan, remain heavily involved in the organization.

"It would have been nice to get a win for the Collins family," Osmond said.

Kerry Park goalie Leighton Williams had an excellent outing as he was peppered with 45 shots, and managed to turn aside 41. Victoria’s Grant Payne needed to make just 16 saves for the shutout.

Despite the loss, the Isles remain third in the VIJHL’s South Division with 22 points, just ahead of the Saanich Braves, who have 18. The second-place Westshore Warriors have 33 points, while the Cougars lead the way with 41.

The Isles have another light weekend coming up as they play just once, hosting the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The Bucs sit second in the North Division and prevailed 7-5 last time they faced Kerry Park, but Osmond believes his team can knock them off.

"They have a good team, but we have good games against Nanaimo," he said.