Sports

Timbermen storm back to beat Thunder

Nanaimo Timbermen  player Brad Mazzocato takes a shot on goal in transition during Saturday
Nanaimo Timbermen player Brad Mazzocato takes a shot on goal in transition during Saturday's game against the Langley Thunder at Frank Crane Arena.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Nanaimo Timbermen turned things around and came up with a win.

The city's senior A Western Lacrosse Association club defeated the Langley Thunder 15-12 on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena, erasing a 6-1 first-period deficit with seven goals in the second period and seven more in the third.

"That's the thing about lacrosse, right? It's just momentum swings…" said Brody Eastwood, T-men forward. "You've just got to try to stay with it once you've got it."

Kaleb Toth, the team's coach, said the Timbermen stepped up their game in the second and third periods, playing more aggressively on defence and moving the ball offensively to spread the Thunder's D.

"It's nice when the guys work hard and they're rewarded for their hard work," Toth said.

Cayle Ratcliff, T-men alternate captain, said the team dug deep and didn't quit.

"It shows that we're learning and we're taking a step in the right direction," he said.

Ratcliff said the coach has been stressing that players need to be confident on the floor.

"We're better than the way we've been playing and [coach] said that again to us in between the first and second and I think the guys are starting to believe that," Ratcliff said.

A turning point came when Thunder goalie Brodie MacDonald high-sticked Timbermen opponents twice in the second period and got penalized and ejected. Seven different T-men scored in the third period against Thunder backup Mike Lowe.

The 15-goal outburst was more offence than Nanaimo managed in its last three games combined. Toth said since guys had been struggling to score, they were becoming hesitant to shoot but that started to change in Saturday's comeback.

"It was nice to see the guys shoot when they were supposed to shoot and their shot selection was excellent," the coach said.

Ratcliff led the T-men with a hat trick, Paul Brebber and Macgregor Johnston had two goals and three assists each and Doug Langlois also tallied twice. Top draft pick Eastwood scored in his Timbermen debut and other goals came from Blake Kenny, Tyson Roe, Jake Emms, Kyle Hofer and Myles Kenny. Zak Boychuk earned the win as shots were 45-41 in favour of the home team.

For Langley, Athan Iannucci had five goals and two assists, Alex Turner scored a hat trick and had five assists and Brett Baron had two and two.

GAME ON … The Timbermen (3-8-1) play road games on Thursday (July 10) against the New Westminster Salmonbellies and Saturday against the Coquitlam Adanacs. Note that Nanaimo's next home game on July 19, against the Salmonbellies, will be played at Duncan's Island Savings Centre at 7 p.m.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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