A hat trick by Colten Thompson and an outstanding performance by goalie Eric Young helped the Kerry Park Islanders knock off the Peninsula Panthers and Nanaimo Buccaneers in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action last weekend.
Thompson’s three goals propelled the Isles to a 6-4 comeback road win over Peninsula on Friday, and Young came within minutes of shutting out the Bucs in a 4-1 home win on Saturday.
The Panthers led 2-1 after the first period on Friday and 4-1 eight minutes into the second when Thompson took over, scoring twice within two and a half minutes go get his team back within a goal before the second period was over. He added one more in the third as the Isles outscored the Panthers 3-0 down the stretch.
“We got off to a slow start, but the guys came around and battled hard,” Kerry Park head coach Troy Newans commented. “They fought through the second and third. It was a good character win.”
Logan Walker had a goal and an assist, Jack Strom and Marko Tokic also scored, and captain Matt Baird had two helpers, Dryden DeMelo made 41 saves in the Islanders’ net, and Connor Sveinson stopped 20 shots for the Panthers.
On Saturday, Young came within seven minutes of earning a shutout in just his second VIJHL start, which would have matched DeMelo’s feat from a week earlier. The Isles were up 4-0 when Buccaneers forward Alex Wienecke finally beat Young late in the third period. The 16-year-old netminder finished with 23 saves on 24 shots, while Nanaimo’s Joshua Doherty had 45 saves.
“Eric was really strong in that game and the guys played hard in front of him,” Newans said. “[Wienecke] is a really good shooter, and he buried a nice goal. We would have liked to get the shutout for him, but he was happy with his performance and so were we.”
Walker led the way on offence with a goal and two helpers, while Landon Gourlie, Mateo Sjoberg and Jackson Egan also scored.
“Those are tough games to play,” Newans said. “Nanaimo battled hard, but we stuck to our systems.”
The Isles will begin the second month of the season with a string of four tough games in seven days. They will try to hand the Campbell River Storm their first regulation loss when they visit the Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Friday, then return to host Peninsula on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the Oceanside Generals Monday at 7:30 p.m. Next Thursday, the Isles are in Victoria to visit the Cougars, who are unbeaten through their first seven games this year.