Acme Timbermen eliminated in ‘freakish’ finish

Nanaimo's senior B lacrosse team lost a bizarre 8-7 overtime game to the Tri-City Bandits on Sunday night at Frank Crane Arena.

Nanaimo Acme Timbermen player Kyle Couling takes a shot late in the third period of Sunday's game against the Tri-City Bandits at Frank Crane Arena. The T-men fell 8-7 in overtime to lose the best-of-five series three games to none.

Nanaimo Acme Timbermen player Kyle Couling takes a shot late in the third period of Sunday's game against the Tri-City Bandits at Frank Crane Arena. The T-men fell 8-7 in overtime to lose the best-of-five series three games to none.

A brief playoff run came to a frustrating finish for the Acme Timbermen.

The city’s senior B lacrosse team lost a bizarre 8-7 overtime game to the Tri-City Bandits on Sunday night at Frank Crane Arena to drop a best-of-five series three games to none. The loss eliminates Nanaimo from the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association playoffs.

The T-men feel as though they deserved a different outcome in Game 3. They led 6-3 going into the third period, but the Bandits tied the game when they scored on a penalty shot with nine seconds left. Then in overtime, Nanaimo managed to tie things 7-7 but then scored on their own net with a minute left.

“Tonight was just a freakish night,” said Mike Maughan, the team’s coach. “One of the weirdest games I’ve seen in my 35 years of lacrosse.”

Nanaimo was rolling along until they felt some of the calls went against them, and they couldn’t keep their cool. Shawn Swanson, Timbermen general manager, said it can be difficult to keep focus in that sort of situation.

“It’s really tough,” he said. “It’s something that good teams do well and average teams don’t do well and we’re in between … so sometimes that can be our downfall.”

In the final minute the T-men repeatedly threw the ball away to the other team. Those missed chances to close out the game caught up to them when they sent out too many men on the floor with nine seconds left in regulation. It was a close call, but the rules call for a penalty shot in that situation.

Fans weren’t impressed, and the heckling escalated to the point that two spectators were ejected.

Swanson said it would take him a little bit of time to try to assess what went wrong in the series. He said the stars seemed to align for the Bandits and said that team might have done a better job of capturing momentum.

“They’re a strong team and they’re a tough team to beat – they showed that all year…” said Maughan. “But we know how strong a team we have and how capable we are so it’s just really frustrating for it to end this quickly.”

LACROSSE TALK … Nick Patterson made 46 saves in defeat. Ryan Forslund, Jon Diplock and Blair Pinnock each had two-goal games and Ryan Dietterle was Nanaimo’s other scorer.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com