Islanders goalie Dryden DeMelo keeps an eye on the puck while defencemen Ben Northcott (2) and Marko Tokic (6) stand guard. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Islanders goalie Dryden DeMelo keeps an eye on the puck while defencemen Ben Northcott (2) and Marko Tokic (6) stand guard. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Kerry Park Islanders open with a loss to Saanich

Lake Cowichan Kraken set to play home opener this Friday

After their originally scheduled home opener was postponed, the Kerry Park Islanders ended up playing to a tough loss to the Saanich Predators in their first game of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season on Sunday afternoon.

The Isles lost 4-1 to the league-leading Predators at Kerry Park Arena on Sunday, a day after they were supposed to play their home opener against the Lake Cowichan Kraken.

Saanich converted two of their 10 powerplay opportunities as the Isles racked up nearly 100 minutes in penalties, not including two game misconducts, while the Preds had just over 50 penalty minutes.

The Predators scored once in the first period, twice in the second and once more in the third before Tobin Bergman notched the Isles’ first of the season.

The Isles actually outshot the Predators 32-30 in the game, with 17-year-old rookie Dryden DeMelo making 26 saves for Kerry Park and Andrew Palm 31 saves for Saanich.

The Isles visited Port Alberni Wednesday for the expansion Bombers’ home opener, and are set to visit the Predators this Friday, then play host to the Victoria Cougars on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Lake Cowichan Kraken, meanwhile, are still waiting to make their season debut after having their first three games postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The Kraken are scheduled to visit the Cougars this Thursday, then play their home opener against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Friday at 7:30 p.m., followed by another road game against the Oceanside Generals on Saturday.

Friday’s home opener will be preceded by a ceremonial puck drop featuring Ts’uubaa-asatx Nation operations manager Aaron Hamilton.

VIJHL

 

Islander forward Logan Walker (8) stickhandles around a fallen Predators defender with teammate Reid Fitzpatrick (18) coming to help. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Islander forward Logan Walker (8) stickhandles around a fallen Predators defender with teammate Reid Fitzpatrick (18) coming to help. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)