Islanders flying with back-to-back wins

One hand on the stick is enough for Kerry Park Islanders
One hand on the stick is enough for Kerry Park Islanders' Braeden Cross to maintain control, as he holds off Nanaimo's Jake Calverley heading into the Buccaneers' zone Saturday at Cowichan Arena in a Hockey Day in the Valley game. Cross is backed up by teammate Matt Osmond.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

Kerry Park Islanders are just happy to be winning games at a key point in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League schedule.

A shutout by Jackson Jane was a nice bonus for him and the team.

The Islanders blanked the Nanaimo Buccaneers 4-0 Saturday at Cowichan Arena on Hockey Day in the Valley, with Jane making 32 saves, for their seventh victory of the season that followed a 6-3 win over the Campbell River Storm on the road Friday night.

"It was actually my first one in Junior B,'' said Jane of the shutout.

"They've already clinched the top seed in the north (division) so it's big going into the playoffs. We're beating the right teams at the right time.''

The Islanders could wind up facing the Buccaneers in the first round if they defeat Campbell River at Victoria Sunday in a wild card game for the final playoff berth.

The Islanders were on a high after Corey Peterson scored twice, including an empty-netter, in the win over Campbell River and singles came from Eric Mansueti, Braeden Cross, Alex Milligan and Brendan Gowanlock.

The Buccaneers posed a more difficult challenge, but the Islanders were pumped up with a larger number of fans than usual watching them play in Duncan.

"Obviously, going into the game we wanted to win,'' said Jane. "We're playing the top team. We wanted to stay in the game, but 4-0 is a big amount to beat the top team.''

Mansueti scored in the first period while Kyle Peterson and Corey Peterson added second-period markers and Kyle Green tallied early in the third period.

Jane made some big saves to keep the Buccaneers off the scoresheet.

"There was one in the second period off my pad and in the third I made a similar save,'' he said.

"Our defence played really good. Everybody came together that game for me, the defence and the offense, and it resulted in a big win for a change.''

The Islanders even played without Milligan, who was summoned for duty by the B.C. Hockey League Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The Islanders have home games Thursday against Campbell River and Saturday against Oceanside at Kerry Park Arena, as well as a Friday outing at Peninsula. But it's the game at Bear Mountain Arena Sunday that counts the most, determining if the season continues or not.


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