Nanaimo Timbermen junior B player Ross Radcliffe

Nanaimo Timbermen junior B player Ross Radcliffe

Jr. B Timbermen lose, but they’re learning

The junior B Nanaimo Timbermen remain upbeat even after falling to .500 this week with two tight losses.

The city’s Pacific North West Junior Lacrosse League club fell 5-3 to the Campbell River Ravens on Sunday on the road, then lost 6-4 to the first-placed Cowichan Thunder on Wednesday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

In Wednesday’s home game, the T-men trailed 5-2 after two periods but put forth a strong final frame and were unlucky not to make the contest even closer.

“A good effort put in; it was a close game,” said Matt Rinas, assistant coach. “We needed to bury a couple more goals but I was satisfied with the defensive performance.”

The goaltending and defence have been rock solid for the junior B Timbermen this season – not once, in six games, have the T-men allowed more than six goals against.

“We’ve got some tough D men and they’re all taking pride at stopping some of the goal scorers,” said Ross Radcliffe, team captain. “They all look at the scoresheet before the game [to see] who’s the big goal scorers out there, and they like the challenge.”

So the team will focus on trying to find a spark with its offence to try to turn close losses into wins. Radcliffe said the Timbermen were wasting possessions by trying to do much when they should have been keeping the offence simple.

Rinas said the players need to “be more aware with the time and space that they have and move the ball a lot quicker.”

As the T-men work on improvements, playing so many close games is only a good thing.

“Every game you keep learning,” Rinas said. “Each close game you come away with something new and you build on it from there until hopefully the score’s the other way around.”

LACROSSE TALK … In Wednesday’s loss, Remy Koch scored twice and Connor Morgan and Cody Dimond had the other tallies. Dean Borrelli picked up two assists and goaltender Mike Berti made 41 saves in defeat … The next league game for the junior B Timbermen is Wednesday (June 1) on the road at Peninsula. Next home action isn’t until June 18.