It has been a dismal start by all
accounts for defending ball hockey champions the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Islanders. With no wins through their opening matches the club is struggling.
Team captain Jamie Lyon is well
aware of his side’s problems and compares to that of the Toronto Maples Leafs
in the NHL who have struggled in recent years (though coming into this week the
Leafs had four wins in seven games).
“Our performance has been less than
admirable,” Lyon said. “We’ve started the season like the Leafs did last year
losing our first three games. Our first two losses were pretty bad, so I’d say
there is only one direction to go from there and that is up.
“I think we have a pretty solid
team this year. Last week’s game was by far our best performance of the season,
so I think we are starting to move in the right direction. It’s still early in
the season so I’m not to worried that we still haven’t won a game.”
Last Tuesday the Islanders lost to
the BDO-CML Pirates 3-2. Paul Arbo made the difference for the Pirates with two
goals. That loss came on the heels of two disappointing showings in the first
two weeks. CIBC were crushed by Darryl Hather and the Lone Star Barracudas 9-2
before Ryan McGuire and the Deloitte Devil Rays took down the Islanders 9-4.
Lyon has been all over the Logic
Arena rink at Kings Sports Centre in those contests. The West Bay road
resident, who is 30 years-old, states he plays ball hockey for the fun of it.
“I will have been in Cayman four
years in January. The first time I ever played ball hockey was here. I used it
as an opportunity to get some exercise and meet friends when I first moved to
the island and have been playing it ever since. I’m all over the place
depending on how many guys show up but I’m usually a right winger.”
CIBC’s struggles this year are
curious considering their wealth of talent. From goalie Nigel Windsor and
defenseman Joe Jewitt to forwards Patrick Cover and Chris Creighton, experience
is not in short supply. At least it has not been all downhill for the Islanders
as star Mark Missal has continued his assault on net. The Cayman hockey
stalwart, who also plays roller hockey for the Budget Beavers, leads the team with
four points and is currently fifth in the league’s top scorer table.
Lyon states Missal is a welcome
bright spot so far.
“As far as a stand-out on our team
I’d have to go with Mark. He’s been one of our few offensive weapons so far
this year. He finally seems to be healthy and he’s accounted for 50 percent of
our goals so far. Unfortunately, he won’t be there this week so some other guys
are going to have to bury a few more goals.”
The Islanders are next in action on
Thursday 28 October against the Sharks at 9pm. Before them the Pirates and
Devil Rays square off at 8pm. CIBC will look to hold the Sharks star tandem of
Derek Bruce and Ashish Khulbe in check. So far the duo has combined for six
points for the fourth place Sharks.
Lyon states the Islanders are not
worried about the rest of the season. Instead the team hopes to get back in
contention one match at a time, starting with Thursday’s contest.
“This whole league is
really competitive and there isn’t much that separates the teams anymore, other
than our first two games. Our next game should be fun as we get our first
chance at the Sharks. One of their off-season pickups Scott Gossen (who also
plays flag football for the Doghouse Bulldogs) is a good friend of mine and a
former Islander for a few years. I know nobody on our team wants to lose that
game. I’m sure I’ll whack his shins once or twice.”