DBL Timbermen start season
Some things will look a little different when the Nanaimo DBL Timbermen take the floor Thursday (May 3).
But some things never change, either.
The city’s senior B lacrosse players will use their sticks to pass, shoot and score. And they’ll also use those sticks to punish the opposition.
“We definitely want to keep that intimidation factor, especially on our home floor. When teams come in they still know they’re going to have a tough time playing against the Timbermen,” said Mike Maughan, the team’s coach. “But at the same point we want to stress a little bit of the discipline. We don’t want to be spending half our game in the penalty box.”
The DBL men will play smart – they’re a veteran group that knows what it takes to have success in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association. That experience helps, since there have been changes at the top this season with Maughan moving behind the bench and fellow vet Shawn Swanson taking on the general manager’s role in addition to his playing duties.
Swanson believes this year’s team is “right on pace” with where it’s been in past years.
“The first month of the season we’ll be figuring out a lot of stuff, there will be a lot of roster changes, guys coming in,” he said. “Really it’s tough to say anything except for that the commitment level at this point right now is much better than it was last year.”
The team has been getting full squads out to training and has an idea of how the roster might look for the home opener Thursday against the Port Moody Thunder.
The DBL T-men will have last year’s top scorer Jordan Jarvis back, joined up front by Shane Chalker and newly signed additions Jon Diplock (see story below), Ryan Forslund and Joey Fendick.
Ryan Dietterle and Ryan Clark are some of the guys capable of playing in transition, or anywhere on the floor. Maughan said a lot of the team’s offence will come in transition.
“We’re not looking to get off the floor as fast as we can, we want to push the pace and if guys have a chance to fast break down the floor, we’ve got some really good speed on our team so we want to use that,” he said.
The back end will be led again by Kyle Couling and Brad Jones, along with Matt Maughan and Nolan Maughan.
The DBL Timbermen have prided themselves on being a defence-first team in recent years. Swanson said since so many vets know the system, the newcomers get plenty of help.
“We’re just trying to get all the new guys into what we’ve done for the last three or four years,” he said.
Goaltending will perhaps be the most notable change. With longtime goalie Danny Walters moving east this season, Tony Wyse and Trevor Good begin 2012-13 as the goaltending tandem.
“That’s something that we still look for as a strength,” Mike Maughan said. “There’s still lots of work to do and some stability, to get there.”
The Timbermen should be tested right away this month. The opponent Thursday, the Port Moody Thunder, is an expansion team but one that is largely made up of last summer’s junior B provincial champions. It’s also the start of three games in five nights for the T-men, who visit the North Shore Indians on Friday and play at Port Moody on Monday.
“So most of these guys are going to get into those games, and then we’ll kind of see which guys stick,” said Swanson.
The Timbermen expect to be tough, exciting, and competitive, and Thursday is their first opportunity to start building that identity.
“You’d still like some more time to work on some things, but nothing better to work on than game action,” said Maughan.
Thursday's senior B lacrosse game starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Tickets cost $7 at the door. For season ticket information, visit www.nanaimotimbermen.com.
Diplock a surprise addition to T-men
The Nanaimo DBL Timbermen have added one more hometown hero to the roster. Jon Diplock has signed on to play senior B this season.
Diplock played senior A with the Coquitlam Adanacs the past two seasons, but as an apprentice plumber on the Island, he didn’t want to commit to a summer of practices and games on the mainland. He said he has discussed the possibility of a trade with Adanacs brass.
In the meantime, he likes what he’s seen at DBL Timbermen training camp.
“It’s pretty early right now but we’ve got a lot of guys here who are committed,” he said. “I like the enthusiasm and the spirit.”
He brings scoring and speed, and he said he’ll also try to bring intensity.
“Just what I’ve always done throughout my lacrosse career,” he said. “Just try hard and do the right thing for the team.”
Diplock played his whole junior A career with the Nanaimo Timbermen. He scored seven goals, including the game-winner, in the junior team's first win in franchise history in 2006. In 2007 as a call-up to the senior A Timbermen, he scored two goals in that team's one and only playoff win in franchise history.