After a dismal start to the 2022/23 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season, the Kerry Park Islanders have battled back to clinch a playoff spot with just one game remaining in the regular season.
The Isles visited the Campbell River Storm on Feb. 17, and lost to the league’s third-ranked team 4-1.
Out-shot 47-28, it took until midway through the third period for Kerry Park to find the back of the Storm net.
Aledo Sdrakas converted a powerplay opportunity from Carson Brown and Henry Toomer but it wasn’t enough as the Storm had already scored thrice and potted an empty netter at the end of the third to put it away for good.
The following night at their home rink, the Isles faced off against cross-town rivals, the Lake Cowichan Kraken.
The Islanders scored the first five goals of the game with former Kraken Bryce Burnett leading the way.
Burnett scored his 12th of the year from Kellan Bates and Sdrakas at 3:47 of the first period. He then connected with Toomer to feed Sdrakas at 17:21 of the same frame.
Just 15 seconds later Jack Strom made it 3-0 for Kerry Park. Keagen Abbott and Carson Strom got the helpers.
Sdrakas was fed by Burnett and Kellan Bates 39 seconds into the second period to give the Isles a 4-0 lead. Carson Strom added another with his fifth of the year at 9:12 of the second from Eric Stinson and Noah Hovde. That made the score 5-0.
But the Kraken didn’t quit.
Sukhraj Narwall scored twice in the middle stanza, first at 12:15 from Anthony Wilson and Brayden Ganter and then at 18:45 from Wilson and Kyler Smith.
Carson Brown wrapped up the scoring on an empty net at 17:31 of the third period to put the game on ice, 6-2.
Kerry Park’s regular season comes to an end Feb. 25 at home against the Westshore Wolves. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Lake Cowichan finished their regular season on Feb. 26 at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena against the Nanaimo Buccaneers at 5:30 p.m.