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Kerry Park Islanders get back to .500 in VIJHL

Weekend wins include second loss of the year for Victoria Cougars
Kirk Whittaker gets to the puck ahead of a Cougars player during the Isles’ win last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The Kerry Park Islanders improved their record to .500 with back-to-back wins over a pair of South Division rivals.

The Isles defeated the Peninsula Panthers 5-2 at Panorama Rec Centre on Friday, then downed the Victoria Cougars 4-2 on Saturday, becoming just the second team to beat the Cougars so far this season.

The Panthers drew first blood on Friday with a powerplay goal at 12:08 of the first period, but Mateo Sjoberg evened the score before the first intermission. Reid Fitzpatrick put the Isles ahead with the only goal of the second. The Panthers made it 2-2 early in the third, but Marko Tokic, Jackson Egan and Logan Walker scored unanswered goals for Kerry Park.

Walker and Sjoberg finished the night with a goal and two assists apiece, and Egan had a goal and one helper. Eric Young made 38 saves as the Isles were outshot 40-27.

On Saturday, the Isles and Cougars played through a scoreless first period before Brady Estabrook got the Isles on the board with a powerplay goal 49 seconds into the second. Kirk Whittaker made it 2-0 at 12:23 of the middle frame. The Cougars scored late in the second and tied things up midway through the third, but Egan put the Isles up again and Estabrook iced the result with an empty-netter.

Tokic had a pair of assists, and Dryden DeMelo stopped 35 of 37 shots, while Victoria’s Fraser Wyatt turned aside 31 of 34 shots.

The previous Wednesday saw the Isles fall 8-5 to the Westshore Wolves at the Q Centre. The Isles trailed 3-2 after 20 minutes and 5-4 after 40, then tied the score early in the third before surrendering three unanswered goals, including an empty-netter. Estabrook had a goal and two assists, Tokic had a goal and one assist, Whittaker, Ben Northcott and Jack Strom scored singles, and Dylan Parsons recorded three helpers. DeMelo made 31 saves as the Isles outshot the Wolves 44-38.

Now with seven wins and seven losses on the season, the Isles will visit the last-place Nanaimo Buccaneers on Thursday, then play host to the Wolves on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the Cougars on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Kerry Park defenceman Joel Elsaesser hunts down the puck in front of Dryden DeMelo’s crease during the Isles’ 4-2 win over the Victoria Cougars last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)