For the first time in more than two weeks, the Kerry Park Islanders played a Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game, and it took them some time to get back in the groove.
Outshot 10-5 in the first period and 11-9 in the second, the Isles eventually succumbed to a 5-1 loss to the Peninsula Panthers at Kerry Park Arena on Tuesday night, their first contest since Oct. 31.
The Panthers scored three times in the first, once in the second and once in the third. Reid Fitzpatrick notched a powerplay goal with 2:11 left in the game to prevent the Panthers from leaving with a shutout, while Islanders goalie Bailey Monteith allowed five goals on 29 shots.
New acquisitions Booker Daniel and Dayton Clarke made their debuts with the Islanders on Tuesday night. Daniel is on loan to Kerry Park from the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. The 19-year-old Vanderhoof product played 47 games for the Amerks last season, tallying seven goals and 13 points. His resume includes two VIJHL games as an AP with the Campbell River Storm in 2017-18, during which he had a goal and two assists. Daniel had an assist and 12 penalty minutes in his first game with the Isles on Tuesday.
Clarke was acquired from the Saanich Predators last week in exchange for defenceman Taylor Webb. The physical 19-year-old forward from Victoria had 15 goals and 35 points in 37 games with Saanich last season, and started this season with five goals and seven points in seven contests. Over his four-year junior B career, Clarke has 30 goals and 77 points in 128 games. Webb had four assists in nine games with Kerry Park this year, after posting four goals and 10 points in 44 outings last season.
The Isles will have no shortage of opportunities to get back at the Panthers, as the teams will meet six more times before the end of the month. Up next is a home-and-home series this weekend: the clubs will battle at Panorama Rec Centre on Friday and at Kerry Park on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Games are streamed live on HockeyTV.