The Nanaimo Timbermen played leapfrog at the end of practice Tuesday night. It’s symbolic of what the Western Lacrosse Association squad would love to do in the standings – leapfrog a few teams en route to first place.
But it’s tricky this year to climb the standings. More so than any other year, every team is capable of beating every other team.
“The out-of-town scoreboard’s bizarre,” said Zak Boychuk, Timbermen goalie. “You have no idea. It’s good, though. It’s great for the league.”
Only the first-placed Victoria Shamrocks (6-2) have fewer losses than the Coastal Windows Timbermen (4-3-1), and yet the T-men still find themselves in sixth place in the seven-team league.
So Nanaimo’s can’t be complacent, riding a three-game unbeaten streak.
“Every game is starting to get a little bit more intense now that everybody is beating everybody and the league’s so close,” said Myles Kenny, T-men transition player.
The unpredictability of the out-of-town scoreboard can make it a little more difficult to prepare for games.
This Saturday (June 30), the Timbermen host the Coquitlam Adanacs (5-5). The T-men beat the Adanacs earlier this season, but so much has changed since then.
The Adanacs have been on a tear, and indeed Saturday’s game pits two of the WLA’s hottest teams against one another.
“It’s going to be a completely different team compared to when we played them at the beginning of the season,” said Kenny. “[Their goalie] Nick Rose is playing unbelievable right now and all their big shots are starting to get a lot of goals.”
It will take good communication in the defensive end to shut down Coquitlam’s key players, said Kenny.
Home-floor advantage could also be a factor. The Timbermen haven’t lost at home yet this season and they say they feed off the energy at Frank Crane Arena.
“We haven’t lost at home and I don’t expect us to lose,” said Art Webster, Timbermen coach. “Coquitlam’s been playing well … but I still think that we haven’t really reached [our potential] offensively. We have some games, but we have to be on fire like that consistently.”
The team doesn’t expect that seven goals will be enough to win against the Adanacs again, but it’s not out of the question the way the teams’ goalies are playing. Boychuk will get another start and looks forward to duelling with Rose the way he did in last month’s 7-4 win.
“I’ve been playing him since my first years in lacrosse playing minor back in Ontario and I think I can say that’s the first time I’ve ever beat Rosie in a game,” Boychuk said. “It was good to finally get one on him so hopefully we’ll get another one, too.”
GAME ON … The Timbermen and Adanacs play Saturday (June 30) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Tickets, $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for kids, will be available at the door.