Lake Cowichan Kraken forward Anthony Wilson skates through the Peninsula Panthers zone during a game between the VIJHL teams earlier this season. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Lake Cowichan Kraken forward Anthony Wilson skates through the Peninsula Panthers zone during a game between the VIJHL teams earlier this season. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Lake Cowichan Kraken thumped in back-to-back road losses

Offence stymied by Panthers and Glacier Kings

The Lake Cowichan Kraken are still looking for their first win of 2022 after back-to-back blowout losses last weekend.

The Kraken were defeated 8-1 by the Peninsula Panthers in North Saanich on Friday and 7-2 by the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Courtenay on Saturday.

A scheduled game against the Port Alberni Bombers last Wednesday had to be postponed.

The host Panthers held a 1-0 lead after the first period, then showed why they are the top offensive team in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League when they exploded for seven goals in the second period. Defenceman Jacob Campbell prevented the Kraken from being shut out for the first time this season when he scored on a powerplay early in the third.

Jake Hebert got the start in net for the Kraken, and allowed five goals on 29 shots over the first 32 minutes and 18 seconds. Josh Robins played the balance of the game, surrendering three goals on 20 shots. Peninsula goalie Brady Kelly stopped 25 of 26 Lake shots.

Recent acquisition Sukhraj Narwal scored both goals for Lake Cowichan on Saturday, his first two scores in the VIJHL since coming over from the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Port Moody Panthers in late December, giving him four points in three games. Another newcomer, Zach Vaillancourt, assisted on Narwal’s first goal for his first VIJHL point in three games since a trade with the Sicamous Eagles of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

The Glacier Kings opened the scoring just 21 seconds into the game. Narwal answered back before the two-minute mark, but the Kings scored two more to lead 3-1 at the end of the first period. Narwal made it 3-2 with a powerplay marker in the second, but the Kings scored five more unanswered.

Robins made 23 saves as the Kraken were outshot 30-23.

Lake Cowichan remains in a three-way battle for two wildcard playoff spots. The Kraken have 32 points and the Bombers have 31, with both teams having played 37 games. The Kerry Park Islanders have 36 points in 38 contests. The Kraken are also 10 points back of the Glacier Kings for third place in the North Division and a guaranteed playoff berth.

The Kraken are scheduled to visit the Campbell River Storm this Friday, then return home on Sunday against the Oceanside Generals at 5:30 p.m.

VIJHL