A three-goal first period propelled the Kerry Park Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Saanich Braves on Tuesday night, extending the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team’s winning streak to three games.
Caleb Franklin opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker, then assisted on Jacob Malloch’s even-strength goal, and Kayden Peck put the Isles up by three with a powerplay effort. The Braves got on the board late in the first period and found the net again in the third, but that was as close as they would get.
“We played a really good two periods, the first and the second,” Islanders owner Mark Osmond said. “The first was one of the best periods I’ve seen us play. The guys were up for it. The second was the same kind of thing, but things got a little testy — there was a lot of roughing going on. In the third, we knew they were gonna come out and try to pin us down. They got one back midway through the period, but we saw the game out.”
The Isles outshot the Braves 30-18 over the first two periods, but Saanich came back in the third with 12 shots to Kerry Park’s six. Rett Rook finished with 28 saves for the win.
“There’s a good atmosphere in the dressing room right now,” Osmond said. “There’s a lot of confidence. Now that we’ve got some healthy bodies, that makes a difference.”
The Isles, who had already pulled the trigger on a pre-deadline deal that sent goalie Chase Anderson to the Campbell River Storm in exchange for netminder Matt Henwood and defenceman Josh Poland, made an 11th-hour trade on Tuesday, acquiring blueliner Garnett Roberts from the Peninsula Panthers for future considerations. The physical rearguard has three assists and 84 penalty minutes in 30 games this season and has 29 points in 120 career VIJHL games.
Osmond is excited to bring in the 6-foot-4, 20-year-old Victoria product.
“He’ll come in and add some experience and give us a bit more depth on defence, and maybe do some damage in the playoffs,” the owner said.
The Isles will try to continue their winning ways this weekend as they host the Nanaimo Buccaneers at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Victoria Cougars will visit Kerry Park Arena next Tuesday, also at 7:30 p.m.