The path to the playoffs gets a lot tougher now for the junior A Timbermen.
Nanaimo’s B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League team lost 11-9 to the Victoria Shamrocks on Wednesday night at Frank Crane Arena in a matchup that had major implications in the standings.
“It hurts because we’re fighting for a playoff spot with those guys right now. That was a big game,” said Ken Morrison, coach of the T-men juniors.
Nanaimo led 8-7 going into the third period but Victoria scored twice early in the final frame and held off the home team.
Travis Mickelson had three goals and three assists, Cody Short had three goals and two helpers and Mitch Parker had a goal and five assists for Nanaimo. Andrew Miller and Owen Barker were other scorers.
For Victoria, Ryan Lewis and Max Fredrickson had hat tricks and Charles Claxton was the winning goalie.
Morrison said mental mistakes led to the goals against in the third. Defenders had trouble communicating, identifying and switching.
“All that stuff has to happen and a lot of times it’s not and that’s where they get caught,” said the coach. “They’re working hard, it’s just that communication.”
At the other end of the floor, the T-men are missing top lefty and righty threats in Corey Shires and Dane Sorensen, both out with long-term injuries.
“There’s still guys that can score on our team right now without those guys,” said Morrison. “They just have to get the opportunities and play smart.”
Pete Dubenski, T-men goalie, said guys seemed to run out of gas in the loss, and said players will need to dig deep during some tough upcoming games.
“We’ve got to really push the tempo and outrun these guys and outwork them. That’s how we’re going to win these games,” he said.
The Timbermen juniors will need some luck, too, Dubenski said, a few bounces going their way.
“We’ve got to get … one or two squeakers that get by, that one call from the ref,” he said. “Keep working hard, keep getting the greasy goals, and going at it, giving everything you’ve got.”
GAME ON … The junior A Timbermen visit the Coquitlam Adanacs on Sunday (June 15). The next home game isn’t until June 28.