Cougars inflict more wounds on the Islanders
The schedule didn't offer any relief as the Kerry Park Islanders continue vying for their first win of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season.
Two games against the powerful Victoria Cougars, who are at the opposite end of the standings with an undefeated record, ended in somewhat predictable results. The Cougars beat the Islanders 9-1 in Esquimalt Thursday and 7-1 at Kerry Park Arena Saturday night.
The Islanders are now 0-10-2 after 12 games.
"All we can hope for is a constant improvement every day in practice and that's going to carry over into the game,'' said Islanders' coach Trent Brandvold.
The Cougars simply have too much strength in all areas compared to the inexperienced Islanders.
"The Cougars, they're the best team in B.C.,'' said Brandvold. "They're just a step ahead all over the place. It just makes it difficult.
"Playing a team like the Cougars, they're fast, they're disciplined and they play their positions well.''
Penalties were another factor for the Islanders. They gave up four goals in 13 Victoria power-play opportunities Thursday and three more in nine chances Saturday.
The Islanders had just eight power plays combined in the two games and went scoreless.
Former head coach Brad Scafe has jumped behind the bench the last few games with Brandvold to try and help kickstart the team.
"They felt I should have someone with more experience coaching,'' said Brandvold.
He has full confidence in his coaching ability and sees the team's problems more as a case of growing pains for young players.
"What I see with our team, I'm coaching them on all the things they need to be doing,'' said Brandvold.
"A lot of guys are having trouble adapting to the speed of play. That's what I would say the worst part of it is.''
Connor Krupa scored the Islanders' lone goal in Esquimalt. Kyle Peterson tallied at Kerry Park.
Both came during the third period when the outcomes were already long decided.
The Islanders have made some recent lineup changes, acquiring goalie Joshua Alalouf and young forward Braeden Cross, and more are on the way.
The Islanders host the Saanich Braves Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Kerry Park Arena.