Islanders defenceman and captain Matt Baird was among those on the score sheet after a 6-4 victory over the Peninsula Panthers on Nov. 20. (Citizen file)

Islanders defenceman and captain Matt Baird was among those on the score sheet after a 6-4 victory over the Peninsula Panthers on Nov. 20. (Citizen file)

Isles victorious before league shutdown

The Kerry Park Islanders were able to sneak in one last game before the Vancouver Island Junior B Hockey League shut their season down indefinitely as of Nov. 21.

The Isles visited the Peninsula Panthers on Nov. 20 and skated their way to a 6-4 victory.

“I thought that was a good statement game for the new Kerry Park Islanders,” said head coach Brandon Cox. “Last year if you look at goals for and goals against it was like 6-1 or 8-1. I don’t think the Kerry Park Islanders won a game against Peninsula last year.”

Peninsula got their top line back from last season and the Isles fell 5-1 to the Panthers in their first game this season.

The Isles were ready to turn it around.

“We had to adjust to their play and clog the neutral zone,” Cox said. “It was a shot show and a pretty equal game and we finished more than they did.”

Kerry Park was consistent throughout the contest spreading their 34 shots on goal evenly throughout their three periods of play and scoring two goals in each period.

Booker Daniel, on loan from the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, scored his first two goals with the Islanders, while captain Matt Baird, and Jackson Egan scored a goal and an assist each.

Kirk Whittaker potted his team’s first goal but it was Colten Thompson with the game winner.

Dawson Elzinga and Dayton Clarke pitched in with two helpers apiece.

“We got a big, physical scoring presence from Saanich in Clarke,” Cox said, noting his new forward stands roughly six-foot-three or four and weighs in around 235 pounds.

“He commands respect and takes over the game every time he’s on the ice. He’s definitely a guy you want to get out of the way of and I think Peninsula knew that.”

Reid Fitzpatrick and Louis Farraro also earned assists.

Bailey Monteith played all 60 minutes for Kerry Park saving 26 of the 30 shots he faced.

Due to the new restrictions posted by the BC Public Health Officer and the information supplied by BC Hockey, the League declared that all games were postponed as of Nov. 21 while the COVID-19 situation is being evaluated.

The Kerry Park organization has already initiated multiple safety measure to keep their players and opponents safe but there’s still some uncertainty.

“ViaSport is looking at the Provincial Health Officer and looking at defining a lot of language from the PHO,” Cox explained. “Hopefully we can continue to play.”

In the meantime, the Islanders held an in-house three-on-three tournament and battled for the Hammer Cup.

“With the uncertainly, and for the kids’ mental health, we want to keep it fun for them,” Cox explained.

“We made four teams, and tried to have some fun; tried to get their minds off of what’s going on in the world around them.”

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