The Nanaimo Timbermen are going somewhere they haven’t been in a long time – the playoffs.
The senior A T-men clinched a post-season berth in the Western Lacrosse Association on Sunday night, defeating the Coquitlam Adanacs 11-6 at Frank Crane Arena.
“It was huge. It was on everyone’s mind,” said Kaleb Toth, Timbermen coach. “We had a goal at the beginning of the year to make the playoffs and we’ve accomplished that goal and now we want to just keep going, we want to keep pushing. We realize how good we’re playing and how good we are, so we’ve just got to keep the momentum going and just see how far we can go.”
The Timbermen have two games left on the schedule and could finish second, third or fourth.
“We want to jump up in the standings if we can and get some momentum going into playoffs, but we’re very stoked to be there this year,” said Brody Eastwood, team captain.
Nanaimo had only qualified for the WLA playoffs once before in franchise history, back in 2007, and Chase Fraser, who scored a hat trick in Sunday’s win, said feels “unreal” to be part of the group to make it back.
He said the team handled itself well in Sunday’s game, coming back from a tough first period to take control.
“Up or down, we’ve got pretty good confidence with this team, good camaraderie and all that stuff, so we’re always looking up,” Fraser said.
Nanaimo had gotten down 5-2 after one period and trailed 6-4 halfway through before tying it late in the second and then dominating the third.
“It ended up being a good game at the end. It was just a good character win,” Eastwood said.
In addition to Fraser’s hat trick, offence came from Jon Phillips, who had a goal and five assists, Drew Belgrave and Dane Sorensen, who scored two goals apiece, and Evan Messenger, who had a goal and three helpers. Eastwood and Tyson Roe had the other goals and Mike DiGirolamo got the win as shots were 54-34 in favour of the home team.
GAME ON … The Timbermen visit the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Thursday, then finish the regular season Saturday, July 28, against the Burnaby Lakers in a 7 p.m. contest at Frank Crane Arena.