Juniors get going at home

The junior A Nanaimo Timbermen hold their home opener Saturday (May 2) against the Delta Islanders.

Lacrosse fans can get their first look of the new-look junior A Nanaimo Timbermen.

The city’s B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League team holds its home opener Saturday (May 2) against the Delta Islanders.

The T-men, led by a new coaching staff and an influx of rookies, were doubled up 10-5 in the season opener last weekend against the defending-champion Coquitlam Adanacs, but were competitive in that game, said general manager Jon Nicholson.

“We showed well and it was promising,” he said. “We were pretty happy with the effort.”

The T-men have a tough schedule to start, but they think they can pick up some points and stay in the thick of things.

“This group is definitely keen and definitely ready to win, I think,” Nicholson said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are really looking forward to having a good year.”

Kyle Couling, T-men coach, said last week that to win games early in the season, his team will need to commit to the systems and play a strong team game.

In the season opener, Cody Short and Tarrin Davies scored two goals apiece and Alec Molander had one. The return of sniper Brett Hawrys to the lineup on Saturday will make a difference, and Dane Sorenson should join the team by the following weekend.

The back end has been led by Devan Smith and Jeremy Roe will be a key stay-at-home defender.

Nanaimo sports fans can look forward to Jordan Kuziek’s return to the lacrosse box; the former V.I. Raiders lineman could be in the T-men lineup for the home opener.

In goal, the squad is excited about Jarryd Jensen, who made 50 saves against the Adanacs.

“If we can get our back end to limit the shots to the outside, I think we’re going to be in real good shape this year,” Nicholson said.

The T-men are holding their home opener at the Nanaimo Ice Centre and will then move to their usual home floor, Frank Crane Arena. Fans will see “really exciting lacrosse,” said Couling.

“[We’re] fast,” he said. “We’ve got lots of skilled players up front. We want to play with tempo and bust the ball up quickly.”

GAME ON … The T-men play the Delta Islanders on Saturday (May 2) at 4:30 p.m. at the NIC. Tickets will be available at the door and the team is also selling season tickets for all junior A and senior A Timbermen games at a cost of $135. For ticket information, please e-mail tali@tmen.ca or call 250-739-2606.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com