PORT HOOD: The Cape Breton West Islanders are still above .500 – and are only one point back of the number three Halifax McDonalds – but the Isles are coming off a pair of weekend losses against the Valley Wildcats, not to mention a loss last Wednesday against the Cape Breton Tradesmen.
The weekend games saw the Islanders lose 6-4 on Saturday and 5-4 on Sunday. Against the Tradesmen, the final was 8-5.
“We were up against a good team in the Valley,” said Islander coach Nick MacNeil. “They’ve won eight of their last nine, or something like that. They’re playing really well, and we didn’t play 60 minute hockey. That cost us.
“Our goalie [Kenzie MacPhail] didn’t have his best weekend, but you have to expect that sometimes. He’s kept us in a lot of games.”
Last Wednesday, rookie goalie Brandon Connors faced 36 shots in the loss. Lewis Taylor had a goal and assist, and single goals were scored by Matthew Raike, Sam Grant, Blake Hadley, and Daniel LeBlanc. Managing helpers were Neil MacLean, Ben MacLellan, Daniel Gillis, Lowell MacDonald, and Jason Johnson.
In Saturday’s 6-4 loss, Isle goalie MacPhail faced 33 shots.
Handling the offense were Matthew Ellis, a goal and an assist; Brant Timmons and Dave Matthews, two assists each; Darren Waterman, Gillis and MacDonald scored single goals; and Grant, Dell Welton, and Taylor had helpers.
The Sunday game saw MacPhail face 41 shots on net.
Leading the Islander offense were Grant, two goals and an assist; Waterman, a goal and assist; Ellis and Welton, two assists each; Taylor, a goal; MacLellan and Neil MacLean, all with a helper.
“It was tough for us to go 0-3, but today is a new day,” MacNeil said. “I still believe in this team, and you just keep moving forward. We’ll be off to the Monctonian on Thursday.”
The Islanders return to action at the Al MacInnis Sports Centre on the weekend of November 24, facing the Cole Harbour Colts on Saturday at 6 p.m. and on Sunday at noon.