Nanaimo’s intermediate A squad is in first place in the BCILL, sporting a 5-1 record through the early stages of the 2017 season. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Timbermen on top to start intermediate A season

Nanaimo is in first place in the B.C. Intermediate A Lacrosse League, sporting a 5-1 record

The Timbermen are turning heads in the B.C. Intermediate Lacrosse League.

Nanaimo’s intermediate A squad is in first place in the circuit, sporting a 5-1 record through the early stages of the 2017 season.

The T-men won two more games this past weekend, beating the Burnaby Lakers 12-8 on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena and then coming back to defeat the Coquitlam Adanacs 19-11 on Sunday on the mainland.

“We try to run high-tempo, fast-paced, hard-hitting lacrosse,” said Brian Suckling, the team’s coach. “You could almost call it, in a sense, old-school lacrosse.”

He said the biggest reason for the team’s success is that guys are buying into the system. On offence, that means ball movement and getting everybody involved, and in the defensive end, communication is key.

Suckling said that the T-men might have taken teams by surprise at the start of the year, but opponents are catching on and playing the Timbermen tougher. Suckling said that might have been the case in Sunday’s game, as the Adanacs jumped out to an 8-3 lead before the Timbermen settled down into a more disciplined game and came back to win big.

Nanaimo’s offence is best in the loop with 91 goals for and Suckling attributed that to a mix of top-end talent and good secondary scoring. Adam Fulton is second in league scoring with 19 goals and 30 points, while Colton Lidstone is third with 12 goals and 28 points.

The intermediates’ success is exciting for the whole Timbermen program, said junior A coach and general manager Dave Bremner, because the players include junior A draft picks who represent the future of the Timbermen. The intermediates have also supplied call-ups who have contributed to better-than-expected results for the junior A T-men.

“What we’re trying to do it be a family, running all the same systems for the most part so everybody’s aware of their role, whatever team they’re going to play on,” Suckling said.

GAME ON … Nanaimo’s intermediate A squad takes on Okanagan this Saturday (May 20) at 1 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com