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Kerry Park Islanders hoping they are over the hurdle

The Kerry Park Islanders didn't lose to the Oceanside Generals last Thursday, but the result, and the performance, still weren't quite what management was hoping for from the players.

"We still didn't get the right response from the team," Islanders owner Mark Osmond said.

Coming off back-to-back losses the previous weekend, the Isles played back-to-back overtime games this time around, tying the Generals 3-3 last Thursday, then edging the Saanich Braves 5-4 last Saturday.

After a scoreless first period on Thursday, the Isles opened the scoring early in the second with a goal by rookie Patrick Poets. The Generals pulled even with a powerplay goal a couple of minutes later, then took the lead late in the middle frame.

Just 18 seconds into the third period, Braedan Cross scored to draw the Isles even, and Poets potted his second of the game to get the lead just before the sevenminute mark. The Generals scored at 8:39 to make it 3-3, and more than 11 minutes of scoreless hockey - including four minutes where the Isles were shorthanded - led to overtime, where the teams again failed to score.

Poets, Cross, Nick Kean and Zack Smith all finished the game with two points, and Leighton Williams earned the win with 53 saves on 56 shots.

"We should have won that game if we had played the way we know we can," Osmond said.

Kerry Park suffered two injuries on bad hits by the Generals, neither of which was penalized. The Isles lost Cody Short to a broken shoulder blade, and thought they had lost Abe Lamontagne, although it turned out he had only suffered a stinger and sat out the rest of the game.

On Saturday, Cross scored the winner at 4:22 of the first overtime after the Isles weathered a push from the Braves early in the extra session.

The teams traded pairs of goals throughout regulation, beginning with the Braves scoring twice in the first period. Nick White scored shorthanded at 1:33 of the second, and Lamontagne tied the game just 52 seconds later.

The Braves scored two more before the end of the second to again pull ahead by two, but the third period was all Kerry Park as Cam Nickerson scored at 10:04 and Ryan Hogg added a powerplay goal at 16:57. The teams went scoreless for the remainder of regulation, setting the stage for Cross's heroics.

Cross, Nickerson and Lamontagne each finished with a goal and an assist, and defenceman Chris Carpentier had two helpers. Williams got a second consecutive start, and stopped 30 of 34 shots.

"It was a good win for the guys," Osmond said. "Hopefully we've gotten over the hurdle of bad games."

The Isles did lose forward Kean, who was knocked out on a clean hit, adding to the woes of Short's injury.

"That could have been a costly weekend for us," Osmond said.

Holding down third place in the VIJHL's South Division with seven wins, six losses, one tie and two overtime losses, the Isles visit the Braves on Wednesday before playing a home-and-home with the Campbell River Storm on the weekend, in Campbell River on Friday and at home on Saturday, facing off at 7:30 p.m.

Kevin Rothbauer

About the Author: Kevin Rothbauer

Kevin Rothbauer is the sports reporter for the Cowichan Valley Citizen
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