Sports

Jane views Islanders as an improved team

The Kerry Park Islanders have more than half of their games against Victoria and Saanich, the top two teams in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. - file
The Kerry Park Islanders have more than half of their games against Victoria and Saanich, the top two teams in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
— image credit: file

The results don’t always show it, but the Kerry Park Islanders are definitely better than their record in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League indicates.

Goalie Jackson Jane has a bird’s eye view of the action and is in as good a position to assess the situation as anyone.

“We’re definitely getting a lot better,’’ said Jane, who’s faced a lot of rubber this season but not nearly as much in recent games.

“We’re young, too.’’

The Islanders just released a 20-year-old and added 18-year-old defenceman Anthony Gilbert. Jane said he’s definitely going to improve the fortunes of the team on the back end.

The Islanders also added a back-up for Jane in Jordan Hospes from the Pacific International Junior Hockey League and he was thrown right into the fire against the first-place Victoria Cougars last Thursday night in a 5-1 loss.

“He played good,’’ said Jane. “I think that’s one of the closer games we’ve had with them.’’

Victoria’s Evan Roch didn’t have an easy night, facing 31 shots, and Braeden Cross was the only player to beat him.

“He had to step up his game and he did, I guess,’’ said Jane of Roch.

Jane returned to the net Saturday at Kerry Park Arena when the Islanders lost 4-2 to the expansion Nanaimo Buccaneers.

“It seems like I’ll have a good game and I’ll let in three or four goals and we’ll score one,’’ said Jane of the typical situation.

When the Islanders manage to score three or four, the opposition seems to put away six or seven.

That’s one reason the team is just 2-21-2 on the season.

“Out of 25 games, 13 of them have been against Victoria and Saanich and they’re the top two teams,’’ said Jane.

“It should go uphill from here.’’

The Islanders have two more games with Victoria this week, Thursday at Esquimalt and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Kerry Park Arena, and then they’re done with the Cougars for the season.

The Islanders have not faced the Campbell River Storm, the last-place team in the north division, yet this season. The first meeting will finally happen Friday, Dec. 14 in Campbell River.

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