Hot T-men take on first-placed Thunder

The Nanaimo Timbermen haven’t lost in a month, but they’ll be challenged this Saturday at Frank Crane Arena by the Langley Thunder.

Nanaimo Timbermen forward Cayle Ratcliff

Nanaimo Timbermen forward Cayle Ratcliff

With the league’s best team taking on the league’s hottest team, something’s gotta give.

The Nanaimo Coastal Windows Timbermen (5-3-1) haven’t lost in a month, but they’ll be challenged this Saturday (July 7) at Frank Crane Arena by the Langley Thunder (8-4).

The T-men aren’t trying to build this game up as any different than the others.

“They’re all measuring sticks. Every team in this league is good…” said Scott Ranger, Timbermen captain.

“Guys are ready to play; I don’t think it really matters who we’re playing. That’s an exciting thing to have in the locker room because we’ve been defeated for a long time and it’s nice to have that winning attitude right now.”

The Timbermen are coming off a 13-9 win over the Coquitlam Adanacs last Saturday at Frank Crane Arena. Playing the type of lacrosse that helped them go 3-0-1 in their last four should lead to more success moving forward, they think.

“It’s about who’s going to execute the little things properly,” Ranger said. “The loose balls, the big picks, that kind of thing. That’s what it’s going to come down to, is hard work.”

The Timbermen will also have to keep tabs on the Thunder’s top scorers.

Last time the teams met, Lewis Ratcliff torched the T-men for four goals in a minute and a half to pace a 14-10 Langley win.

“Other than that, we had control of that game,” said Art Webster, Timbermen coach. “[Athan] Iannucci is going to score. Lewis is going to score. We have to contain them. They’re going to get a couple of goals but we can’t allow them to get four.”

Nanaimo also has a talented group of forwards. Lewis’s brother Cayle Ratcliff has scored hat tricks in consecutive games for the Timbermen.

“For the start of this year I was a little bit snakebitten, and then I started getting a few one-goal games and my confidence has picked up huge,” he said.

Cayle Ratcliff’s high-scoring ways add some pizzazz to Saturday’s brother-versus-brother matchup, the first at Frank Crane Arena since Lewis was traded to the Thunder in the off-season.

Goaltending will be another storyline as the T-men’s Matt King is coming off a sterling performance in his last game and the Thunder’s Brodie MacDonald is among the league’s elite. Ranger said ideally, his team will be able to get to the opposing netminder early so he doesn’t get a chance to build confidence.

“He is a good goalie so if he’s making saves early [we need to] stay patient, stick to the game plan,” said Nanaimo’s top scorer.

Home floor continues to be an advantage for the Timbermen, who are 4-0-1 at Frank Crane Arena. Ranger said his team is hearing the cheers, which are helping. He pointed out a couple of instances last game where the fans disagreed with officials’ calls, and let the refs hear about it.

“It’s kind of neat to see that,” he said. “For the first time in a long time we’ve got a winning team and Nanaimo supports winners and hopefully we can continue to win and keep those crowds because they mean a lot when you’re on the floor and you’re tired and you’ve got to go out next shift and the crowd’s behind you. It goes a long way.”

First back-to-back games will test Timbermen

The big game Saturday (July 7) against the Langley Thunder is only the first task this weekend, as the Timbermen play the Maple Ridge Burrards on Sunday on the mainland.

The T-men won’t get ahead of themselves, though, and will expend all their energy against the Thunder and hope it’s replenished by the following night.

“We’re going to worry about Langley and go from there,” said Ranger. “Hopefully we can execute Saturday night and then Sunday night will fall into place.”

Ideally, said Webster, the T-men will make it through tonight’s game injury-free. If they can do that, then they should be able to meet the physical challenge of back-to-back games.

“You can’t think you’re tired,” he said. “You’ve got 24 hours to get yourself back ready to play again the next night.”

Starting with a win would help create the right frame of mind.

“If we can win Saturday, Sunday’s going to be a lot easier to go over,” Ranger said. “If we lose it’s going to be a grumpy ferry ride.”

GAME ON … The T-men host the Thunder on Saturday (July 7) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for children … Sunday’s game in Maple Ridge starts at 6:45 p.m.

Just Posted

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

An artist’s rendering of a proposed student housing complex at 326 Wakesiah Ave. (WA Architects Ltd. image)
Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New residential school healing centre to be built near Duncan

$5-million Indigenous treatment centre will help survivors of residential schools heal

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

Most Read