The Kerry Park Islanders started the New Year by losing both ends of a Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League home-and-home series with the Saanich Braves last weekend.
The Isles lost 6-2 at George Pearkes Arena on Friday, then were edged 2-1 back home at Kerry Park Arena on Saturday.
On Friday, the Isles took a 2-1 lead into the third period, but gave up five unanswered goals, including an empty-netter, over the last 20 minutes.
Jarret Malloch opened the scoring for Kerry Park in the first period, but the Braves answered back before the period was over. Parker Ellis restored the Isles’ lead in the second before things fell apart in the third. Parker Swanson stopped 33 of 38 shots as he faced 16 pucks in the first and 15 in the third. The teams had identical 0-for-3 records on the powerplay.
On Saturday, Saanich struck first, midway through the opening frame. It wasn’t until 8:09 of the third period that the Isles drew even with a powerplay goal by Evan Easton. That was short-lived as the Braves went back in front just 68 seconds later. Chase Anderson made 35 saves in the Kerry Park net. The Isles went 1-for-4 on the powerplay and held the Braves to 0-for-4.
The Isles now sit fourth in the VIJHL’s South Division with 32 points, two back of the Westshore Wolves and one more than the Peninsula Panthers.
Kerry Park play host to the Victoria Cougars on Tuesday night. The Isles will visit the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Thursday, then play at home again on Saturday against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings at 7:30 p.m.