Juniors possess scoring punch

Nanaimo Timbermen player Corey Shires is the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League’s Player of the Week after scoring six goals in the season opener in Delta on Saturday. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Nanaimo Timbermen player Corey Shires is the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League’s Player of the Week after scoring six goals in the season opener in Delta on Saturday.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Twelve goals is going to be enough to win most nights in the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League.

So the Nanaimo Timbermen have reason to be encouraged despite an 18-12 defeat in their season opener last weekend in Delta.

How were the T-men creating offence in that first game?

“Shires, Shires, Shires again,” said Ken Morrison, coach of the juniors.

Corey Shires scored six goals in a BCJALL Player of the Week performance Saturday.

“I just kept shooting,” he said. “My dad always told me, ‘Shoot till you’re hot and then keep shooting.’ So that’s pretty much what I was doing and I had success.”

Morrison said he could tell right from the opening faceoff that Shires was into the game.

“I think he’s going to have a big year,” said the coach. “I’m talking up at the top of the scoring race. I think that’s what he wants, too and I’d love to see that because it’s his last year. He’s got great talent … it’s his shooting. He’s got a great shot.”

Shires is an alternate captain and a leader on the T-men. For him to have success is important at a time of year when he and his teammates need to win.

“The last couple years we’ve started the season 0-10. I don’t want to say we’ve quit, but our heads were down,” he said. “This year, if we get some wins off the bat it will give us a lot of confidence and it will help us.”

Shires won’t score a half-dozen times every game, and he doesn’t need to for the T-men to win. If he can demand attention from opponents, it can open up other Nanaimo scoring threats.

The junior Timbermen feel they’ve come up with plays that will open up the middle of the floor, and will work. Morrison encourages his guys to shoot when they get opportunities.

“When you shoot, good things happen,” Shires said.

Teams need to shoot to score, they need to score to win, and they need to win to make the game fun.

All of that is in their grasp, now, at the start of another season, when anything is possible.

“You just need to give it 100 per cent every night,” Shires said. “If that happens, then we’ll be all right.”

GAME ON … The junior A T-men host the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Saturday (May 3) at 5 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

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