Carson Strom carries the puck up the ice during a game against the Lake Cowichan Kraken last month. (Todd Bumel photo)

Carson Strom carries the puck up the ice during a game against the Lake Cowichan Kraken last month. (Todd Bumel photo)

Kerry Park Islanders face Victoria Cougars in first-round of the VIJHL post season

“We would love to see the community there at our home games”

With their position in the playoffs locked, the Kerry Park Islanders played as if the weight of the world was off their shoulders during their last regular season game, Saturday, Feb. 25 at Kerry Park Arena.

The Westshore Wolves were in town and had the slight edge in the season series, having won three of the pair’s five games previously played.

The Islanders looked to change that, however, and, backed by goalie Logan Elzinga who stopped 41 of 44 shots on the night, the Isles unleashed their true scoring potential to the tune of seven goals.

“We had a good start scoring three early and then both teams were pretty even the rest of the way,” head coach Brian Passmore said. “We skated hard, a good team win and goalie Logan Elzinga was really strong.”

Keagen Abbott set the tone 49 seconds into the contest with his first of the year, from Aleko Sdrakas. The goal set off a domino-effect of first period veteran scoring.

Sdrakas then scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season at 4:23 from Carson Strom before Strom scored his sixth of the year from Kellan Bates and Nathan Da Silva.

“It’s nice to finish the season with a win; the confidence is there and it was nice to see the 20-year-olds all score in their final regular season game,” Passmore said.

The Wolves got their first with three minutes left in the period but when the intermission arrived, Kerry Park was still up 3-1.

Colby Robinson scored unassisted within the first five minutes of play in the middle frame, followed four minutes later by a Zachary Ellis-Winters goal from Aaron Marson and Benjamin Stocks.

Once again, Westshore countered late in the period but the Islanders took a 5-2 lead into the second intermission.

The Wolves made it 5-3 before two empty netters finished it off for Kerry Park.

Henry Toomer scored with 94 seconds left, followed up shortly thereafter by Strom, whose empty netter was short-handed.

The final score was 7-2 for Kerry Park, which will no doubt give them a boost Thursday night as they head into the first round of the VIJHL playoffs against the Victoria Cougars.

Passmore said his team is up for the challenge.

“We beat them at home in our last matchup, so we know we can beat them,” he said. “We will need to be at our best and we are preparing for this series at practice this week.”

The teams alternate rinks starting with Game 1 at Archie Browning Arena on March 2. The Isles host the Cougars March 4 at Kerry Park Arena. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. in Game 2.

“We would love to see the community there at our home games,” Passmore said. “We have been good at home since late November.”

cowichan valleyJunior B HockeyShawnigan LakeVIJHL

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