Senior A Nanaimo Timbermen defender Tyson Roe checks an opponent in front of goalie Charles Claxton’s crease during playoff action earlier this month at Frank Crane Arena. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Senior A Timbermen know they can still raise their game

Nanaimo lacrosse team in off-season mode, coach and players earn WLA awards

For the first time in a long time, the Nanaimo Timbermen proved they were playoff-calibre. Next, they’ll find out if they can become championship-calibre.

The senior A T-men saw their season come to an end Aug. 10 when they lost Game 5 of a best-of-seven series against the Victoria Shamrocks.

They’ve had a chance since then to assess what went wrong in that series and appreciate what went right this summer. Nanaimo finished 10-7-1 in the regular season, establishing a franchise record for wins and allowing the fewest goals against in the league. Since their playoffs ended, the T-men have also been honoured with some individual hardware from the Western Lacrosse Association. Drew Belgrave was chosen a first-team all-star, Jordan Gilles and Chase Fraser are second-team all-stars and Kaleb Toth won Coach of the Year.

“It’s always nice to be honoured with a league award, but the ultimate award is the Mann Cup and that’s what we want to get,” said Toth. “We’ve got a little bit of work to do, but we made some great progress this year and hopefully we can continue to grow as a team.”

RELATED: Nanaimo Timbermen make the playoffs

RELATED: Senior A Timbermen eliminated from playoffs

Toth said he thinks there were a couple of factors that led to his team’s playoff loss. He didn’t think any facet of the team played to their full potential, but he also saw how the Shamrocks’ experience helped that squad. Nanaimo, he said, panicked a bit at times.

“They definitely tried and worked hard,” Toth said. “When you make the playoffs, your game needs to step up and our game didn’t step up to that next level. We didn’t get mean enough, but that’s a learning experience.”

He said he didn’t think Victoria was necessarily a better team than Nanaimo.

“I think they played a better game than we did,” Toth said. “I think our team could definitely beat them, we just need to improve on confidence and some little things.”

The coach said he thinks the experience of losing in the playoffs will make his guys even hungrier to go one better next time.

“They want to be back, and now they’re going to realize that once you get into the playoffs, it’s a whole new ball game and you have to be that much dirtier, that much grittier and work that much harder.”

Some of the takeaways from the 2018 season, he said, will be the changed mentality and attitude in the team, and also the atmosphere of Nanaimo lacrosse fans supporting a team that was winning games.

“I was very happy with the way that the team played this year, getting more fans out, getting the buzz going in the city. It was exciting lacrosse,” Toth said.



sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

Lantzville taps into new water connection policy

Newly adopted policy gives staff increased authority over issuing new water connections

City of Nanaimo announces 10 new pieces of temporary outdoor public art

Sculptures will be installed at Maffeo Sutton Park and McGregor Park in May

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Memorial desecrated by heartless people

I hope whoever caused so much hurt will think twice about what they have done, says letter writer

Nanaimo hospital’s new 5,000-kilogram MRI magnet delivered

$1.97-million magnet will boost NRGH medical imaging capabilities

Anti-pipeline protests in support of Wet’suwet’en continue at B.C. government buildings

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Most Read