The Lake Cowichan Kraken won just one of their three Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games last week, but the lone victory was a memorable one for goaltender Jake Hebert.
The 17-year-old VIJHL rookie from Nanaimo made 71 saves last Friday night to earn his first VIJHL win in his third appearance as the Kraken defeated the Oceanside Generals 4-2 at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.
Hebert was peppered with pucks, making 23 saves in the first period, 21 in the second and 27 in the third. His teammates were more efficient, firing a total of 21 shots at the Oceanside net — more than enough to outscore the Generals.
The Kraken led 2-1 after the first period on goals by Curtis Baird and Anthony Wilson. Jacob Campbell converted a second-period powerplay to make it 3-1, but the Generals got that one back with a powerplay goal of their own a few minutes later. Lake Cowichan blueliner Ray Kelly iced the win with an empty-netter late in the third. Kellan Brienan finished the game with two assists.
The week started for the Kraken with a 3-2 loss to the Port Alberni Bombers in Port Alberni last Wednesday, although Kraken outshot their expansion cousins 48-20. The Bombers struck first with a shorthanded goal in the opening period. Campbell replied with a powerplay goal in the second, but the Bombers were able to restore their lead before the next intermission. The Bombers added another in the third, and although Mitchell Billings mustered one more for Lake Cowichan, it wasn’t enough to close the gap. Josh Robins made 17 saves in the loss, while Alberni netminder Callum Tung finished with 46 stops.
On Sunday night, the Kraken had the dubious distinction of becoming the first team to lose to the Nanaimo Buccaneers this season, falling 4-3 in Lake Cowichan. The Buccaneers, who have made significant improvements in recent weeks, led 2-0 after the first period, but the Kraken got going midway through the second as Donovan Griffin and Aiden Eddy found the back of the net 42 seconds apart shortly before the 10-minute mark. Griffin’s second of the game put Lake Cowichan in front just before the horn sounded to end the middle frame. The Bucs tied things up again at 2:10 of the third, then got back in front for good at the 9:38 mark. Robins finished with 37 saves as the Kraken were outshot 41-24.
With nine wins, 13 regulation losses and one shootout loss, the Kraken sit fourth in the North Division, but the fifth-place Bombers are just one point back with three games in hand.
The Kraken will play at home this Friday against the South Division-leading Victoria Cougars at 7:30 p.m., then visit the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday.