One thing about the senior B Timbermen is they always seem to be ready to go at the start of the season.
The team has made something of a tradition of starting the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association season with winning results, and there are a few reasons why, said coach Mike Maughan.
First of all, they usually have enough roster numbers so that guys are trying hard to make the team. Another factor is that over the years, they’ve established their home floor as a tough place for opponents to come play.
“Anytime we start with home games, we’re usually tough to beat no matter what stage of the year,” said Maughan. “It also speaks, maybe, to the pride of playing for the Timbermen. You know you’re going to have to come out and play hard.”
That will be the goal this Saturday (April 26), as the Acme Painting Timbermen host the Royal City Capitals.
“It’ll be good senior B lacrosse,” said Shawn Swanson, the team’s general manager. “We’ll have some kinks to work out with some new guys, and being our first game. [It’s] a pretty big one because it’s a game we should win.”
Just because it’s a new season doesn’t mean the T-men are starting over. They will return most of the guys who competed at the Presidents Cup national championships in 2013.
Jon Diplock is back to lead the offence, complemented by fellow right-handers Ryan Clark and Rick Fields and lefties Blair Pinnock, Ryan Forslund and Steve Higgs.
Aaron Vanderhorst and Ryan Dietterle are transition threats, and more defensive toughness comes from Graeme Ross and additions Brad Dougan and Kyle McInnis. Kyle Couling is also in the mix on D, though he’s sidelined to start the year.
All three goalies return; Nick Patterson, Danny Walters and Pat Mallough should all have opportunities to contribute.
“It’s looking pretty good so far,” said Maughan. “It’s still early and it feels like the season’s creeping up on us pretty fast. Not a lot of time to evaluate some of the new players, but we’re definitely feeling good about the core group of veterans that we’re bringing back.”
It helps, he said, for a coach to know what to expect: a team that can play a high-octane, free-wheeling game and still be tough and physical.
Swanson hopes for a big crowd for the home opener.
“There’s no other games on that night,” he said. “Hopefully Nanaimo comes out and supports us.”
GAME ON … The Acme Timbermen start the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association season Saturday (April 26) against the Royal City Capitals at 6 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Admission is $8. Season tickets for all nine home games cost $40, which includes a game-worn Timbermen jersey while supplies last.