The Nanaimo DBL Timbermen battled through the first round of the playoffs and look forward to the next challenge.
The city’s senior B lacrosse team defeated the Royal City Capitals 10-9 on Wednesday night at Frank Crane Arena to sweep the Caps two games to none and move on to the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association semifinals.
Wednesday’s score, perhaps, flattered the New Westminster team as Nanaimo was better five-on-five and was able to up its game when it needed to.
“We played well for most of it,” said Nanaimo’s Ryan Dietterle, who scored a hat trick. “We had a few minor lapses, a few dumb penalties.”
Twice the T-men led by three goals, but coach Roger Dubyna said his players couldn’t quite step on the opponents’ throats when they had them down.
“We played very well in spurts,” said the coach. “When we got ahead of them by two or three, on the bench I could feel we thought we kind of had it won and the focus went [away],” Dubyna said.
Beyond Dietterle’s hat trick, the scoring was spread out. Jordan Jarvis had a goal and three assists and Myles Jeffers had a goal and two assists. B.J. Potter, Aaron Vanderhorst, Luke MacNeil, Shawn Swanson and Joey Fendick were the other scorers and Kyle Noble finished with five assists.
Danny Walters earned the win in goal as his team outshot the opposition 39-37.
Semifinal series features rivals
If the DBL Timbermen are going to extend their playoff run any further, they will have to solve the Ladner Pioneers. The teams meet in a best-of-five series to see who will advance to the league final.
Nanaimo’s most long-standing rivals finished first in the WCSLA standings this year and beat the T-men twice along the way.
“We didn’t do too well with them in the season, but we kind of know their players now and we’ve come together as a team more,” said Jarvis. “We can beat them.”
Dubyna said his team has gotten to know some of the Pioneers’ tendencies.
“They’re very aggressive defensively. They come after you, they’re always trying to pressure you,” Dubyna said. “[On offence] they have some set plays they run, so we’ve got to learn how to stop those set plays.”
The Pioneers are prone to taking penalties, so playoff intensity is likely to spark plenty of rough stuff.
“It always seems to get feisty and some stuff happens, so I wouldn’t bet against that,” Dietterle said.
Jarvis said the Pioneers were able to draw the Timbermen into taking a lot of penalties during the regular-season games.
“We’ve got a pretty big hate for each other, so it should be an interesting series,” he said.
GAME ON … The Timbermen and Pioneers play Game 1 on Sunday (July 24) on the mainland. Game 2 will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena and Game 3 will be Wednesday in Ladner. Remaining dates and times have yet to be finalized.