At the start of the season, there’s still lots of time for moral victories, so the Nanaimo Timbermen are encouraged.
The junior A T-men lost 13-11 to the Victoria Shamrocks in the first game of the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League season on Friday at Frank Crane Arena, and it was a contest that Nanaimo could have won.
“Our kids worked their [tails] off…” said Tyson Leies, the team’s coach. “All in all I’m very proud of the boys with the way they played.”
The T-men let in the first two shots of the game, but scored the next five and led most of the night. Nanaimo was up 10-6 at one point, and it was 10-8 going into the third before Victoria scored three power-play goals to spark a comeback.
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot at the end with a couple of not-so-good penalties, but if we could stay out of the penalty box, we probably could have taken that one,” said Darrin Wilson, T-men veteran.
Leies said his offensive players showed good off-ball movement during the first two periods, but got away from that. Defensively, he thought guys were overzealous at times or they miscommunicated.
“All correctable,” he said.
Wilson led Nanaimo with a hat trick, while Mathieu Jung and Will Johansen scored a pair each. Liam Young, Kevin Glanfield, Daryl DeFreitas and Jake Latin were other scorers for the T-men. Shots were 49-47 in favour of the home team.
Wilson said his team played great for the first game of the season.
“It definitely does boost the spirits in the locker room, for sure,” he said. “That could have been anybody’s ball game.”
That said, the T-men know that in a short season, they need to win when they have chances to do so.
“Obviously a loss doesn’t help you, but we’re hoping at this point that we can continue working hard,” Leies said.
GAME ON … The junior A Timbermen are back at it tonight (April 30) as they host the Coquitlam Adanacs in a 5 p.m. start at Frank Crane Arena. Tickets will be available at the door.