The regular season ended with a loss, but the junior A Nanaimo Timbermen were all smiles afterward.
The B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League team (8-13) was defeated 13-8 by the Delta Islanders on Sunday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
But the result gives the T-men the playoff matchup they wanted – Nanaimo will face the Victoria Shamrocks in the first round, starting tonight (July 12) down the Malahat.
The T-men played their backup goalie Jamie Bellamy for the whole game on Sunday, experimented with different defensive schemes and dressed a couple of guys who sat the whole game on the bench so they could qualify to play in the post-season.
“We never go into a game looking to lose,” said Dave Bremner, coach of the Nanaimo juniors. “We went in to get the victory today, but at the same time we were trying different things.”
Ryan Sage, who led the Timbermen with three goals and two assists, said his team “competed hard” in its regular-season finale.
“It’s one thing to lose the last season game if it means a whole lot, but that game didn’t mean a ton,” he said.
Ethan Garland had two goals and two assists for Nanaimo, Matt Messenger had a goal and four helpers against his former team and Joey Fendick and Adam Backular-Evans were the other scorers. Cory Koesdibyo dished out three assists. Bellamy had a strong game with 44 saves.
The day before the T-men lost 13-8 to the New Westminster Salmonbellies. Cody Bremner scored twice in that one and Backular-Evans, Sage, Marino Best, Kyle Hofer, Glenn Foley and Messenger were the other scorers. Goalie Devon Winter made 51 saves.
LACROSSE TALK … Look for a playoff preview later today at www.nanaimobulletin.com … Game 1 is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena, Game 2 will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre and Game 3, if necessary, will be Sunday at 5 p.m. at Bear Mountain.