Juniors just miss in home opener

The Nanaimo Timbermen lost 11-10 to the Burnaby Lakers on Saturday in B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League action at Frank Crane Arena.

Nanaimo Timbermen player Ryan Hanna

Nanaimo Timbermen player Ryan Hanna

The junior A Timbermen didn’t win their home opener, but at least they know where they went wrong.

The Nanaimo Timbermen lost 11-10 to the Burnaby Lakers on Saturday in B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League action at Frank Crane Arena.

“We just got outworked,” said Brad Dougan, the team’s coach. “You look at the stats on paper and it showed us being the favourites to win. We played hard for the first 10 minutes of the game … and thought it would be a cakewalk the rest of the way.

“The green guys started getting loose balls and running and we couldn’t keep up.”

A 4-2 first-period lead for Nanaimo evaporated, but the T-men got another chance to take control late in the second period. A series of Burnaby penalties gave Nanaimo extended power-play time.

“Five-on-three or four-on-three, it’s not OK to have an outside shot,” Dougan said. “We’ve got to get the ball moving and [get] cutters and let their defence break down and find an open cross-crease and there’ll be an empty net. But we’re settling for an outside shot.”

The missed power-play opportunity was magnified early in the third as the Lakers went on a 4-0 run to take an 11-7 lead.

Nanaimo got back in it and stole the ball in the dying seconds and created a prime scoring chance with two seconds left but Burnaby’s goalie made a game-saving stop.

Shots ended up 55-39 for the home team. Mitch Parker led the T-men with four goals and Brett Hawrys had a hat trick and two assists. Brett Fleming, Owen Barker and Ryan Hanna were the other goal scorers.

The Timbermen (1-3) haven’t really earned a win yet this season, but their record improved last week after they were awarded a default win over the New Westminster Salmonbellies. The ’Bellies were found to have dressed an ineligible player in a 16-4 romp over the T-men last weekend.

“We went over to New West and got smoked, so to get that is kind of…” Dougan trailed off. “Two points is two points.”

GAME ON … The T-men host the Port Coquitlam Saints (2-2) Saturday (May 18) at 5 p.m. at Frank Crane.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com