Wolves Win Home Opener Over Kerry Park

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It’s always nice to get off on the right foot, and the Westshore Wolves did just that Wednesday night at JDF arena as they were able to pick up a 5-2 victory over the Kerry Park Islanders. Although the score begs to differ, the game was close from start to finish. Both teams displayed new faces while relying on the returning veterans to try and scoop of their first win of the young 2014-15 VIJHL season.

The Wolves and Islanders exchanged a few minor penalties through the first half of the opening frame, but neither team was able to capitalize on their scoring chances, that thanks to some solid goaltending from both the Wolves’ goalie Chris Smith and the Islanders’ netminder Ty Rennie. It wasn’t until just after the eight-minute mark of the period that the Wolves opened up the scoring on the power play. Kyle Richter spotted Connor Krupa backdoor who tapped in the bang-bang play to give the Wolves a 1-0 edge midway through the first. The game would return to a neutral zone battle for the majority of the remaining minutes, as the Wolves took a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

Both teams would exchange goals early on in the frame, as Kayle Ramsay finished off a nice passing play from Kyle Richter (again) at the side of the net to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead. However, the Islanders would respond shortly after, as a trio of Islander forwards crashed the net and the puck flipped over Smith’s shoulder and in to cut the lead in half at 2-1. The Wolves’ returning top-line finally struck shortly after, as Corey Peterson dropped it to Richter who spotted Lervold and the Wolves’ reigning point-leader made no mistake, giving the Wolves a 3-1 edge still under halfway into the second. The Islanders stepped up their physical play shortly after the Lervold goal, and it lead to opportunities. Ryan Paisley would jam home a loose puck in front on the man advantage to once again cut into the Wolves lead, making it 3-2 midway through the frame. For the next five to six minutes, the Islanders were buzzing. You could feel the momentum shift from Westshore to Kerry Park, and Chris Smith had to make a few big stops on the penalty kill to keep the Wolves ahead. After two periods, the Wolves held onto a 3-2 lead over the Islanders, but it was realistically anyone’s game.

For the majority of the first 15 minutes of the final frame, there was barely any whistles. Both teams changed to the dump-and-chase style of play, but no team was able to capitalize on a good forecheck to get possession of the puck in the offensive end. It wasn’t until the last five minutes of the game until the Islanders began to take risks in order to pull themselves back to even on the scoreboard. However, Duncan Cochrane would fire a shot wide, but Jordan Martin would bang home the ricochet off the boards for his first VIJHL goal and the crucial insurance marker the Wolves needed. Brett Lervold would pick the top corner late, putting the nail in the coffin as the Westshore Wolves would go on to take the game by a final score of 5-2. The Wolves are the first team in the VIJHL to record a win and will take their 1-0 record into the Panorama Rec Centre where they will take on a familiar foe, the Peninsula Panthers this Friday night.

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