The junior A Nanaimo Timbermen will end their pandemic-shortened lacrosse season as champions.
The T-men defeated the Victoria Shamrocks 9-6 on Thursday at Frank Crane Arena to ensure themselves a victory in a three-game Island championship playoff series to end the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League season.
The teams will go ahead with a Game 3, but it won’t change the outcome of the series after the Timbermen won Game 1 by a 13-11 score Tuesday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre and then wrapped things up two days later.
Game 2 was close, but the T-men started to have the edge in play in the third and got rewarded.
“We got a bit of a slow start to begin the game, but the heart and the drive and the determination from the guys really showed later on in that game,” said coach Mason Pynn. “We kept playing and kept getting better and better as the game went on.”
Goalie Justin Geddie said the Timbermen felt like they were getting chances, and when they did score, they created momentum.
Ryan Sheridan’s tie-breaking goal came with six minutes, 49 seconds left on the clock.
“There were about six minutes left and we said, ‘six miles, let’s keep going, keep pushing through,’” Geddie said.
Nanaimo had the BCJALL’s best regular-season record in 2021, and while ending a lacrosse season with a best-of-three Island title isn’t the franchise’s ultimate goal, it’s the closest thing to a championship the junior A Timbermen have won.
“It means a lot,” said Geddie. “We changed the mindset about three years ago when we started to rebuild and we just kept winning and that’s the goal every game, is just to win.”
Team captain Mason McAdams, summing up the 2021 season, indicated he’s proud of the way the Timbermen played as a group.
“It’s been tough with COVID and not playing last year. A lot of players missed a good season and it feels good to make it up to those guys,” he said.
Pynn said the Island title “sets in stone” that the Timbermen are a good team, possessing determination and unity.
“We just kept saying, ‘you’ve got to believe in yourselves’ and ‘you guys have the talent to do it’ and that’s exactly what they did,” the coach said.
Sheridan was the hero in Game 1 with four goals and seven assists and Skyler Wilson and Jack Bowie both scored hat tricks. Andrew Bowman had two goals and three assists and Arthur Miller had a goal and three assists. Geddie had 36 saves. For Victoria, Patrick Dodds and Denton MacDonald each had three goals and three assists and Noah Manning had two and two.
In Game 2, Bowman’s three goals led the way, Sheridan scored a pair and Geddie made 44 saves. For the Shamrocks, Casey Wilson scored a hat trick, MacDonald had four assists and Dodds had two goals and a helper.
GAME ON … Game 3 will go ahead on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m. at Archie Browning Arena in Esquimalt.