If the junior A Nanaimo Timbermen are going to make a playoff push, it will be led by a new coaching staff.
The city’s B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League team fired head coach Tyson Leies last week, the second time he has been fired as coach of the team. (Leies was also fired in the off-season before the 2010 season, when the club was under different management.)
Assistant coach Dale Nordstrom will remain behind the bench as part of a four-man co-coaching staff along with Dave Bremner, Bill Waddell and Jon Nicholson.
“We decided that a change was necessary, so we made the change. We thought that a different voice will help us going forward,” said Nicholson, the team’s general manager. “We think on paper that we’re better than what our record is, essentially. We think we’re a playoff team and we believe in those kids in the room.”
He said the shakeup seemed to get players’ attention, as the pace, intensity and mindset improved at practice last week.
Come game time Saturday, the T-men lost 11-7 to the Port Coquitlam Saints at Frank Crane Arena, their only action of the weekend. Darrin Wilson and McLean Chicquen scored two goals each and Ryan Taylor, Cody Clark and Adam Fulton were other scorers.
“We solved some issues that we’ve had for the first part of the year in terms of transition, transition defence. We were excellent in those aspects. What killed us [Saturday] was penalties,” said Nicholson, noting that the Saints scored eight times on special teams.
He said the junior A Timbermen (1-8) still believe they have a chance to make the BCJALL playoffs.
“I know we’re six points out right now, but you know what? We’re not even halfway through the season,” he said.
GAME ON … The junior T-men visit the Langley Thunder on Saturday (June 4). Their next game is June 11, also against the Thunder, a 2 p.m. faceoff at Frank Crane Arena.