Tory McClintick holds steady on the Kerry Park blueline during last Saturday’s loss to the Victoria Cougars. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Islanders drop first two games of 18-19 season

Kerry Park team improves in increments from game one to game two

The 2018-19 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season didn’t start off the way Kerry Park Islanders head coach Aaron Spotts would have liked, but incremental improvements from the team’s first game to its second gave him reason to be optimistic.

“Obviously it’s not the start you want,” Spotts said after the Isles lost their first two games of the campaign, falling 7-1 to the Saanich Braves at George Pearkes Arena on Friday, and 6-2 to the Victoria Cougars at Kerry Park Arena on Saturday.

The Braves built up a three-goal lead early in the first period on Saturday before Isaac Leik scored the Isles’ first goal of the season with 4:22 left to play, and it was 3-1 after the first. The Braves added three more in the second and one in the third to complete the rout.

“There were a lot of nerves,” Spotts admitted. “The first five minutes, we were down 3-0, and it’s hard to come back after that. Saanich is a really strong team, too.”

Kerry Park netminder Rett Rook stopped 27 of 34 shots, while Chris Combiadakis made 19 saves in the Saanich net. Duncan’s own Cam LeSergent had a goal and an assist for Saanich, one of five Braves to record multiple points on the night.

The Cougars scored the only goal of the first period on Saturday, then went up 2-0 early in the second. It stayed that way until Leik scored his second goal of the season at 11:36. The Cougars restored the two-goal lead just 82 seconds later, but the Isles got back within a goal when Evan Easton notched a powerplay marker at 15:51. Victoria added another late in the middle frame, then scored two powerplay goals in the third.

The Isles were outshot 41-17 on the night. Rook made 35 saves for Kerry Park and Anderson Violette made 15 for Victoria.

“Victoria will be a strong team in the South this year,” Spotts commented. “We held on with them the first couple periods. Our compete level was high that night. It’s a good thing to build on.”

Several Kerry Park players are still making adjustments to the VIJHL game, including most of the defence corps, where 17-year-old Tory McClintick is the only returning player from last year. The blueline is also dealing with injuries to Avery Nielsen-Webb, who played forward and defence last year, and six-foot-five newcomer Arsh Dhillon, who played in the U.S. Premier Hockey League last year.

“Having those guys in the lineup will help with settling things down in the back end,” Spotts said, noting that Dhillon could be back this weekend.

The Isles visited the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Thursday, and play host to the Westshore Wolves on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Just Posted

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

Capitals drop two; Interior trip in the cards

Cowichan will face Penticton or Merritt in first round of playoffs

Drugs a top priority for North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, notes quarterly report

Drugs a priority for RCMP, notes quarterly report

North Cowichan to pause all logging in forest reserve for 2019

Municipality expects decision to cause $150,000 shorfall this year

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Coming up in Cowichan: Estuary fundraiser, landlord info and more

Chance for landlords to learn about their rights and responsibilities The Cowichan… Continue reading

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

B.C. pot giant Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Most Read