T-men like challenge of facing Salmonbellies

Nanaimo Timbermen defender Dustin Dunn takes a shot on teammate Zak Boychuk during practice Tuesday at Frank Crane Arena. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Nanaimo Timbermen defender Dustin Dunn takes a shot on teammate Zak Boychuk during practice Tuesday at Frank Crane Arena.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

There’s been a renewed big-game feel at Frank Crane Arena so far this lacrosse season. The atmosphere could be extra special this Sunday (June 17).

That’s because the New Westminster Salmonbellies (3-3) will be coming to Nanaimo that night to take on the Coastal Windows Timbermen (2-3-1) in Western Lacrosse Association action.

The Salmonbellies’ history of success is known across the country, said Timbermen defender Dustin Dunn, who came to B.C. from Ontario this season.

He and his teammates faced the ’Bellies once already this season at New West’s Queen’s Park Arena, a game the home team won 17-7.

“For me coming across, I was really looking forward to the first game at New West and when we came out like that it kind of bothered me quite a bit,” Dunn said. “So I’m looking for a little revenge on them here and showing them what the Timbermen are all about.”

The T-men like to think they can compete with any team in the WLA and they have usually played the Salmonbellies tough in recent seasons.

“We’ve always had good games against them in the past but when we went over to Queen’s Park the last time we left our legs on the bus,” said Art Webster, Timbermen coach. “We can’t do that at home.”

The Salmonbellies victimized the T-men in transition, especially, in the blowout in New West. Dunn said Nanaimo needs to be better at reacting to shots and smarter with line changes.

But mostly, the Timbermen were talking about the necessity of getting a good start in Sunday’s game.

“It comes down to everybody being individually focused and doing what they’ve got to do to get ready,” said Joel Henry, T-men attacker. “We’ve got to capitalize on our chances that we get from them and play with the lead from the get-go.”

Dunn said getting a good start takes mental preparation.

“Just coming out, getting every loose ball right off the hop, getting the first shot, getting the first everything,” he said. “Just simple stuff.”

GAME ON … The Timbermen and Salmonbellies face off Sunday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena … Nanaimo will have forward Kaleb Toth back in the lineup. They are 2-0 when Toth plays.

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