The Nanaimo Timbermen wanted badly to win this Island rivalry series. The problem was, the Victoria Shamrocks wanted it even more.
The ’Rocks defeated the T-men 14-8 on Thursday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre to sweep the first-round B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League series two games to none.
“I wouldn’t say they outplayed us by a lot,” said Glenn Foley, captain of the Timbermen. “They just wanted it more, up and down the floor. That was the deciding factor.”
The Shamrocks, as they had done in Game 1, stormed to an early lead and built a 6-2 lead through 20 minutes. Nanaimo finally got its offence going in the third period but it was too late.
“We might have got outworked but there’s no denying we never quit,” said Timbermen veteran Cody Bremner. “That’s the way we played all year – we weren’t the most skilled team but we never did quit.”
The first-round matchup proved too tough, but the T-men didn’t think they brought the wrong game plan. Coach Dave Bremner said his team stuck to its transition style, but got stymied by Victoria’s netminder and got frustrated early in games. It allowed the Shamrocks to set the pace instead.
“They did a good job in dictating to us how the game was going to go,” Dave Bremner said. “That’s what you’ve got to do as a team and that’s what they did to us.
“I’ve got to give them credit. They’re a good team … and they worked hard.”
Timbermen transition player Paul Brebber made a surprise return to the lineup from injury for Game 2 and scored four goals and added an assist. Ethan Garland scored two goals, Foley had a goal and two assists and Matt Messenger had Nanaimo’s other marker. Devon Winter suffered the loss in goal as his team outshot the opposition 44-43.
Cody Bremner, who had three assists in his final junior game, said the future is bright for the Timbermen franchise but felt the team underachieved in 2011.
“There were times when we’d play three games in a row, four games in a row, amazing lacrosse. We’d get that hope,” he said. “Maybe we should have done better than what we ended up with.”
The team’s fifth-place finish in the BCJALL standings was the best in club history, and the team certainly battled adversity to get to the post-season.
“It’s a roller coaster ride. That’s what our team went through this year,” Foley said. “Stuff happens. Injuries, changes. We played the best we could.”
LACROSSE TALK … Graduating juniors this year are Cody Bremner, Kyle Hofer, Ryan Sage, Joey Fendick, Jake Ryan, Asahel Beaudet and Devon Winter.