Ontario star shining for Islanders
Kevin Orleman has been spectacular in semi-final series that sees Delta and New West tied at 1-1
MARK BOOTH / DELTA OPTIMIST
Kevin Orleman will be doing his part to ensure he isn’t going home until late August.
The 20-year-old goaltender is trying to help the Delta Islanders get to where they have never gone before after being acquired earlier this month from Kitchener-Waterloo of the Ontario Junior “A” Lacrosse League.
“My plan is to be here for a while,” he smiled. “I didn’t come all the way out here for just one series. I’m here for the long haul.”
Orleman has been outstanding so far as the Islanders and New West Salmonbellies are tied at 1-1 in their best-of-seven series that will determine a berth into the Minto Cup national championships that start Aug. 19. Delta produced a 12-7 game one home floor victory on Sunday and the Salmonbellies answered two nights later at Queen’s Park Arena with a 9-6 win. Game three is slated for Saturday (6 p.m.) at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
The margin of game two would have been much greater without Orleman’s heroics. He made 49 saves, including several of the spectacular variety to keep his team within shouting distance.
The game slipped away when the visitors went scoreless for over 34 minutes — allowing New West to build up a 9-4 lead after two periods.
“They were not going to roll over and die after one game and we knew that,” said Orleman. “That is a great team over there. We just didn’t answer when they were on us right from the start of the game. You could see that. They wanted it more tonight than we did.
“It’s a best of seven series that is now a best of five. We just have to come out flying the next game.”
Orelman needs no introduction to the Salmonbellies. He played for New West last summer when his rights were also sold to the BCJALL team. It could very well happen again in 2017 since he has another year of junior eligibility and is considered one of the best goalies in the country.
“Honestly, when I came out to B.C. last summer I kind of fell in love with it,” said the University of Guelph student who is currently billeting in the White Rock area. I had a great time last year and wanted to be back here but also wanted my team at home to obviously do well too.
“When things weren’t going that way, I wanted to come back here and win. I was only hearing things coming from my GM and didn’t know where I was going to end up. We have a chance to do something special (for the Islanders franchise) and you can feel that in the dressing room.”
The Islanders were outplayed in the opening 20 minutes of game two but only found themselves down by a goal after another Ontario standout, Cam Milligan, notched his second of the night in the opening minute of the middle stanza. However, the Islanders would not turn on the red light again until Shawn Richardson’s goal with just 5:33 remaining.
“They outscored us 4-1 in the second period and that was the difference,” said Islanders coach Greg Rennie. “We are supposed to be a team with a lot of firepower and we just couldn’t get it going. We were also undisciplined and took a lot of penalties which they made us paid for.
“It could have been worse if not for Kevin. He was amazing and is a special player.”
© 2016 Delta Optimist
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