Kerry Park Islanders and Saanich Braves riding a playoff roller coaster

The first three games of the Isles' best-of-seven playoff series against the Saanich Braves have been something of a roller coaster.

The first three games of the Kerry Park Islanders’ best-of-seven Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series against the Saanich Braves have been something of a roller coaster.

After a power outage delayed the start of the series from last Wednesday to Friday, the Isles lost game one 6-1 in Saanich, came back to win 5-3 in game two at Kerry Park Arena on Saturday night, then were edged 4-3 in game three back in Saanich on Monday night.

The Isles beat the Braves six times in eight regular-season meetings, and are keeping pace with them in the playoffs, but a precarious goaltending situation has made winning difficult.

“I think we’re playing well,” Islanders owner Mark Osmond said after the third game. “In game one, we outshot them. In game two, we kind of dominated them. Even in game three, we weren’t our best, but we were in the game, even when we were down 3-0.”

With No. 1 netminder Rett Rook sidelined with a concussion, the Isles have turned to backup Matt Henwood and affiliate player Liam Tupper to get the job done. Henwood got the start in game one and allowed three goals on 12 shots before Tupper replaced him after the first period. Tupper stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced that night, picked up an assist on an empty-net goal, and earned the start for game two.

Tupper shone in game two, collecting the victory with a 20-save performance. He was back between the pipes to start game three and allowed three goals — not all his fault — in 11 minutes before Henwood came in. Henwood stopped 36 of 37 shots, but was saddled with the loss after his team came back within a goal.

Josiah Nadon scored the Isles’ lone goal last Friday. Caleb Franklin potted a pair on Saturday, while Samson McLean, Jacob Malloch and Ty Smith had singles. Jarrett Malloch scored once on Monday and set up goals by Kayden Peck and Brandon Wilson as the Isles generated all their offence on the powerplay.

A late powerplay on Monday actually gave Kerry Park a good chance to tie the score, but it ended up being nullified with a too-many-men call when the Isles tried to pull Henwood for the extra attacker.

“We had our chances,” Osmond said. “It just wasn’t to be, I guess.”

The win on Saturday was the first playoff victory for the Islanders since 2012, when they won one game in their second-round series loss to the Victoria Cougars after beating the Comox Valley Glacier Kings four games to three in the first round. The Isles have been swept out of the first round every year since, by the Nanaimo Buccaneers in 2013 and the Cougars in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The Isles and Braves were in action at Kerry Park again on Tuesday night after press time. The Isles were hoping for a win to tie the series and guarantee at least a sixth game. The Isles were also hoping to have Rook back between the pipes on Tuesday.

“This will be a long series, I think,” Osmond said. “It will go six or seven, which is good. That’s what it’s all about. It’s been an exciting series.”

Game five will go on Thursday, back at George Pearkes Arena. If a sixth game is necessary, it will be played at Kerry Park on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A seventh game would be played at Pearkes on Sunday afternoon.

 

Kerry Park IslandersVIJHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will use fire hydrants to flush water systems in Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake and Bald Mountain in March. (Robert Barron/Gazette)
Water system flushing in Cowichan Lake communities in March may cause discolouration warns CVRD

Water pipes in Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mescahie Lake, and Bald Mountain targeted

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s fifth annual Dine Cowichan festival returns March 3-28. (File photo)
Business Notes: Dine Cowichan Festival is back

A look at what’s going on in business around the Cowichan Valley

Kyle Topping  skates for the Cowichan Valley Capitals during the 2015-16 BCHL season. (Citizen file)
Former Caps make news in pro ranks

Kyle Topping and Laurent Brossoit mark achievements

Duncan’s City Hall will get a seismic assessment this year. (File photo)
Duncan City Hall to get seismic assessment

City hopes grants will help pay for seismic upgrades

Vandals damaged a picnic table at Spectacle Lake Park with a chainsaw earlier this month. (Linda Mills photo)
Editorial: Vandals make victims of us all

It is infuriating when people target public property for vandalism.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Vancouver Island theatre can’t give you movies, but it can serve popcorn

Sidney’s Star Cinema using popcorn sales to prop up COVID-plagued bottom line

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Most Read