The inaugural season for the South Island Knights ended with a loss in the Coy Cup semifinal series against Kelowna Sparta at Kal Tire Place in Vernon earlier this month.
Kelowna swept the two-game, total-goal series by scores of 9-2 and 10-6 on March 4 and 5, putting the wraps on the first season of play for the Knights, who brought senior AA men’s hockey back to Fuller Lake Arena this year. Sparta advanced to the Coy Cup final, which will take place in Whitehorse on March 28-April 1.
“On Saturday our team was tired out from a travel day but we came close on Sunday,” player-manager Jon Hollett said. “They are a good team and unfortunately we couldn’t be as strong on the road as we would’ve been at home. All in all it was a very positive first season bringing senior men’s hockey back to the Cowichan Valley.”
A.J. Dzhevelekyan and Mattias Schmitt scored for the Knights in the first game. Dzhevelekyan had two more goals in the second game and Schmitt had a goal and an assist. Kelyn Opel scored once and added three assists, Ben Hollett and Kelyn Opel each had a goal and one helper, Tanner Wiersma and Brenton Meadows had two assists apiece, and Jon Hollett and Nick Hui each registered one assist.
Kelowna had 18 players available for the semifinal series, while South Island travelled with only 13 skaters as well as goalies Rob McNutt and Dan Currie.
Among the players on the Kelowna roster were former Kerry Park Islanders Tylor Branzsen and Jamie Jensen and former Cowichan Valley Capital Kevin Walrod.
The Knights have two fundraisers coming up to help keep senior hockey going in the Cowichan Valley. The first is a beer and burger event at the Cobblestone Pub on May 20, and the second is a golf tournament at Duncan Meadows on Aug. 26. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or visit the South Island Knights Facebook page.