Kerry Park defenceman Ty Smith tussles with VIJHL scoring leader Cam Coutre during the Isles’ game against Westshore last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Kerry Park Islanders keep home-ice hopes alive with 5 points in 3 games

The Isles beat their South Division rivals, the Westshore Wolves, 2-1

By taking five of six points last week, the Kerry Park Islanders kept themselves in the hunt for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The Isles beat their South Division rivals, the Westshore Wolves, 2-1 at the Q Centre last Wednesday, then lost to the same team 5-4 in overtime at Kerry Park Arena on Friday. At home again on Sunday afternoon, the Isles were edged 2-1 in overtime by the North Division’s Oceanside Generals.

After a scoreless first period on Wednesday, Westshore got on the board with a powerplay goal at 6:19 of the second. Tanner Tiel tied it for Kerry Park with 36 seconds left in the second, and Kayden Peck scored the go-ahead goal at 12:39 of the third. The Isles went 0-for-5 on the powerplay, while holding the Wolves to 1-for-7. Chase Anderson made 28 saves to pick up the win.

“I thought we got off to a bit of a slow start, but we had a good third,” Kerry Park head coach Aaron Spotts said. “We were fortunate to get the win.”

On their home ice on Saturday, the Isles led 3-2 after the first and 4-2 following Keenan Eddy’s second goal of the night at 5:25 of the second, but Westshore bounced back as Trevor Bottomley scored his second of the game at 16:27 of the second and completed the hat trick at 16:15 of the third. The Wolves potted the winner at 2:15 of the first OT.

Peck and Tanner Browne had Kerry Park’s other goals, as the Isles again struggled on the powerplay, going 0-for-6, including a two-minute five-on-three advantage in the third period, while the Wolves were 1-for-6. Parker Swanson made 32 saves in the loss.

“When you play a team back-to-back, emotions can be high going into the second game,” Spotts noted. “We got off to a good start and had a two-goal lead twice, but we couldn’t put them away. When you go into overtime, it’s usually a crapshoot. We didn’t get the result we wanted.”

On Sunday, Oceanside opened the scoring in the second, and Peck answered back for Kerry Park in the third. The Isles started overtime on the powerplay, and Eddy converted just 66 seconds in, assisted by Peck and Parker Ellis, who picked up his second helper of the afternoon. The Isles were 1-for-6 on the powerplay, and the Generals were 1-for-7. Swanson made 40 saves in the win.

Eddy, the team captain, has missed time this year with injuries, but has been a steady contributor when he has been healthy.

“We’re fortunate enough to have guys like that. He’s got good character, and he’s consistent. I wish we could get more guys playing 60 minutes every night. He’s not always perfect — nobody is — but the effort and drive are always there.”

The Isles are now third in the South Division, four points back of first-place Victoria Cougars and three back of the second-place Saanich Braves, but five ahead of the fourth-place Wolves and six up on the fifth-place Peninsula Panthers.

They visit Peninsula Friday, and host Campbell River Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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