The junior A Timbermen needed to win, and boy, did they ever.
Nanaimo’s B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League club thrashed the Port Coquitlam Saints by a 17-3 score on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena.
Both squads were 0-3 going into the matchup, but the Timbermen were better in every facet of the game.
“I liked the way our team played,” said Ken Morrison, coach of the T-men. “We came out, we were pretty excited at the beginning of the game.”
Nanaimo built a 7-2 lead in the first period and extended that to an insurmountable 13-3 margin after two periods.
“Our team’s really been focusing on team defence. Only letting them score three goals is a huge improvement,” said Brett Hawrys, T-men forward. “And on the offensive side of the floor, guys were just burying the ball.”
Morrison said in that sort of blowout game, an offence can work on things and practise set plays.
“Our offence was clicking pretty good. We were getting through the middle, we were doing our plays, guys were sticking to the system,” the coach said.
Hawrys said the O guys are building chemistry.
“It’s only going to get better,” he said. “It’s working well now and I’m excited to see where it goes in the next couple of weeks.”
The junior Timbermen had scored double-digit goals in all their games this season, but Saturday’s win was the first time they’d held an opponent to single digits.
“There was more talk [on defence]; they were working together as a unit,” Morrison said. “Everybody [had] everybody’s back.”
Goalie Pete Dubenski made 29 saves as shots were 71-32 for Nanaimo.
Corey Shires led the T-men attack with five goals and two assists, Hawrys had four goals and Nick Sanderson had a goal and four helpers. Cole Kryworuchka and Brett Fleming scored two goals apiece and Dane Sorensen, Andrew Miller and Mitch Parker also tallied.
Hawrys said every game has been a learning experience, but said it’s a good feeling to break through and win.
“We’re ready to keep it going and carry on,” he said. “We’re going to come out next week flying again and hope for the same result.”
Morrison said the win was meaningful to his guys.
“This is a lift off their back,” the coach said. “I heard a couple people saying, ‘it’s about time, it’s been awhile,’ but you know what? We’re going to have more. There’s more coming. This is just one to start.”
GAME ON … The T-men visit the Burnaby Lakers on Sunday (May 18). Their next home action is May 21 against the Victoria Shamrocks at 7:30 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.