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Kerry Park Islanders learning how to climb the VIJHL standings

Recent play has junior B team eyeing a playoff spot
Goaltender Eric Young was a difference-maker in the Kerry Park Islanders 2-1 overtime win against Saanich on Feb. 3. (Todd Blumel photo)

The Kerry Park Islanders keep getting better. After a less-than-stellar start to the season, and a coaching change, the Isles burst back into action following the Christmas break and haven’t looked back.

With a three-game win streak in hand, and winners of seven of their last 10, Kerry Park visited the Saanich Predators at George Pearkes Arena on Feb. 3 looking to carry on their winning ways.

It was a tough game but in the end, and thanks to fantastic goaltending, the Isles extended their win streak to four games with a 2-1 overtime win.

“Eric Young, another terrific performance in net,” said head coach Brian Passmore. “He was a big factor in a low scoring game.”

Passmore said the team’s grit and work ethic shone through as they pushed hard for the win. Eric Stinson was the difference maker, with the big goal in overtime.

The following evening, the Islanders hosted the league-leading Oceanside Generals.

Six spots below the Generals in the standings, The Islanders knew they were in for a battle. It just wasn’t meant to be with the end result being a 5-2 loss.

“We did not play up to our standard in this game. It was like we are frozen-up against them and just watched them five on five,” Passmore noted. “Oceanside is a good team, but it was very disappointing how we came out to play against them.”

As with any team learning to climb the standings, there were also bright sides.

“We spent 20 minutes on the penalty kill and did a very good job killing those penalties,” Passmore said. “They only scored one powerplay goal after spending 20 minutes on the powerplay.”

The even-strength play is what did the Isles in, however.

“Overall five-on-five we were very poor in this game,” Passmore said. “Our powerplay was sloppy but managed to get one goal for us in the third period. Logan Elzinga was really focused and competing extremely hard in the net for us all game. If it was not for Logan in net tonight, that could have been way worse.”

The head coach noted that playoffs are right around the corner and his team could very well play Oceanside in the first round.

“I hope we get more engaged for that if it happens,” he said.

A Feb. 9 visit to Nanaimo to face the Buccaneers is on tap for the Islanders, followed by a home game against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Feb. 14. What a great Valentine’s Day date night and a good opportunity to show the hometown boys some love.