Even at this point of the season, there are moral victories.
The Nanaimo Timbermen junior A lacrosse team (5-9) was defeated 13-11 by the Coquitlam Adanacs (15-0) on Sunday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. But the T-men are feeling great about their game right now.
“We played toe-to-toe with the top team in the nation. We can do that and our guys are starting to believe that and they’re starting to believe in each other,” said Dave Bremner, coach of the Nanaimo juniors.
Nanaimo won two in a row before the loss to Coquitlam, including a 13-8 road win at Port Coquitlam the day before.
“The last three games have been building blocks for us. We built for the second part of the season,” said Bremner. “We’re getting healthy and the guys are playing the right system now and they’re working hard.”
Kyle Hofer, alternate captain, said Nanaimo’s transition system is working well right now.
“It’s really moving the ball better,” he said. “We’re being able to clear better and it’s helping out the goalies because more guys are back playing D.”
Hard work at practice has also been key, Hofer said.
“Everyone’s showing lots of heart. We’ve got all our guys back now so it’s all starting to come together.”
Seeing how close they can come to a team like Coquitlam will provide more inspiration for the Nanaimo juniors as they face other important games.
“They gained so much confidence today,” said the coach. “And I think they sent a message to the rest of the league that Nanaimo’s not a pushover like the first half of the season sort of was.”
On Sunday Joey Fendick scored four goals and added two helpers, Stu Mills tallied twice, Cody Bremner had a goal and four assists and Ryan Sage and Isaac Haack each had a goal and three assists. Marino Best and McGregor Johnston were the other scorers. New goalie Jamie Bellamy got the start before being relieved midway through by Devon Winter, who was excellent.
In Saturday’s win, Cory Koesdibyo had two goals and three assists, Fendick had a hat trick and Quinn Smith added two goals. Ethan Garland had a goal and three assists and other scorers were Adam Backular-Evans, Sage, Glenn Foley, Jake Ryan and Hofer. Winter made 36 saves for the win in goal.
GAME ON … The junior Timbermen visit the Langley Thunder (5-10) on Thursday, then play the Adanacs on the Lower Mainland on Sunday evening. Next home action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre isn’t until July 3.