After a promising start on Friday, the Lake Cowichan Kraken faltered in their next two Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games last weekend.
The Kraken defeated the Nanaimo Buccaneers 3-2 in Lake Cowichan on Friday, then lost 7-4 to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Courtenay on Saturday, and were beaten 8-2 by the Peninsula Panthers back at home on Sunday evening.
The league-worst Buccaneers opened the scoring on Friday, but defenceman Dallas Brown’s first goal of the season evened things up before the first period was over. Blueliner Suhilpreet Deol gave the Kraken the lead with his first of the season in the second period, and captain Donovan Griffin made it 3-1 with his 13th in the third before Nanaimo added one more. Brendan Wilson made 24 saves as the Kraken outshot the Bucs 37-26.
On Saturday, defenceman Dylan MacTavish got Lake Cowichan on the board first with the only goal of the opening period against a team the Kraken are chasing in the North Division standings.
The teams exploded for a combined eight goals between 10:48 and 17:53 of the second period, but when the dust settled, the Kings were up 5-4. Comox added two more in the third period. Curtis Baird, Anthony Wilson and Dallas Brown had Lake Cowichan’s second-period goals, and Jaxon Krupa finished the night with a pair of assists. Jake Hebert made 30 saves as the Kraken were outshot by the narrowest of margins, 37-36.
Sunday saw the Kraken again open the scoring on a powerplay goal by Kellan Brienan at 6:16 of the first period. The Panthers, who sit second in the VIJHL’s loaded South Division, capitalized twice on a double minor penalty to MacTavish, and controlled the game from then on. It was 6-1 for the visitors before Rowan Zapisocki scored a shorthanded marker at 12:51 of the third. Josh Robins became the third goalie used by the Kraken in the three-day span, and made 26 saves as the Kraken were outshot 34-17.
With 12 wins, 17 regulation losses and one shootout loss, the Kraken remain fourth in the North Division, their 25 points three back of the third-place Glacier Kings and one more than the Port Alberni Bombers, who have a game in hand.
The Kraken will be on the road for both games this week, visiting the Buccaneers on Thursday and the Oceanside Generals on Saturday.