The Nanaimo Timbermen came up with one of the most impressive feats in franchise history – they defeated the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
Never before had the senior A Timbermen won a regular-season game against the ’Bellies, but on Sunday at Frank Crane Arena the home team outscored the visitors 5-1 in the third period to seal a 10-8 victory.
“It’s tough to win against them and it’s a great job by everybody,” said Cory Conway, T-men forward. “It definitely feels good to win that one.”
Conway was in on every single Timbermen goal, finishing with 10 points. He said the offence is starting to find a rhythm.
“Early on it’s been a bit tough but we’re starting to get the ball rolling,” he said.
Goalie Zak Boychuk made 44 saves in the victory.
“When Boychuk sees the ball it allows us to play more aggressive and when he’s playing well then we play confident,” said Chris O’Dougherty, T-men defender.
Coach Art Webster also praised his goalie, and said the defence stayed “packed tight” and also took away New West’s transition game.
“We stuck with our game plan all the way through and it worked out in our favour,” Webster said.
That was the message even when trailing after two periods – stay with the plan.
“We were playing fine,” O’Dougherty said. “They’re going to get their goals. It’s just playing within ourselves, continue to do what we’re doing and take it to them.”
Webster said Sunday’s win will be a “team builder”, especially since it was a comeback victory.
“You face a team like that in our building and they go up two goals, they’ve got a lot of experience in that dressing room and our guys just kept pouring at them,” Webster said. “It’s a great motivation for us.”
Conway had three goals and seven assists and Cody Bremner also tallied a hat trick. Scott Ranger had two goals and two assists and other scorers were Blake Kenny and Cayle Ratcliff. Joel Henry dished three assists.
“When we stay together, we can do anything, and it shows,” said O’Dougherty. “We beat a great team in New West and I think it’s a show of good things to come.”
LACROSSE TALK … The only other time the current Timbermen franchise won a game against the Salmonbellies was in a playoff game Aug. 8, 2007, at New Westminster’s Queen’s Park Arena, when the T-men prevailed 16-14 … The next game for the Coastal Windows Timbermen is Sunday (June 24) on the road against the Maple Ridge Burrards. Nanaimo’s next home game is June 30 versus the Coquitlam Adanacs.