Juniors filling the net

Nanaimo’s junior A lacrosse team has been scoring a lot of goals, but it wants to do a better job of preventing goals against.

A few different people told coach Dale Nicks it was the most exciting game of the season, so far.

That might have been true, but as Nicks seethed over his junior A Timbermen’s 16-13 loss to the Langley Thunder Saturday at Frank Crane Arena, he couldn’t really see it that way. That kind of game, and the next day’s 15-14 win at Burnaby, are the kind of games that drive coaches crazy.

“Our defence is going to have to improve,” he said. “Our offence is finally generating enough goals to win games – we can only be allowing other teams to maybe score eight or nine goals, max.”

Nanaimo’s junior A lacrosse team (2-11-1) has tweaked the game plan of late, letting the offensive players concentrate on offence.

“We’ve just been doing what the coaches have been telling us, getting to the dirty places, cutting to the middle and getting the right shots,” said Macgregor Johnston, T-men veteran.

Scoring has become contagious up and down the lineup.

“Guys from our tranny, D end are starting to put the ball in the net,” Nicks said. “You get a little bit of that and maybe the focus isn’t on D as much and for us, it has to be.”

Timbermen players said they know they need to be aware of the matchups on the floor and be smarter in their own end.

“We have to play more of an active defence,” said Bryan Dougan, team captain. “We’ve got to start getting out on the shooters and not giving them so much space.”

With the goals and wins finally starting to come, and playoffs still a possibility, there are some positive vibes throughout the junior A Timbermen.

“The mood’s a little more upbeat,” Dougan said. “Definitely everybody’s starting to play with a little bit more confidence.”

GAME ON … Nanaimo hosts Burnaby on Saturday (June 16) at 5 p.m. at Frank Crane.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com