The senior B Nanaimo Timbermen are ready for the start of lacrosse season. So ready, in fact, that they think they can turn it into an advantage.
The T-men traditionally pile up wins early in West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association play. Their fast starts have become so reliable that general manager Shawn Swanson purposely pushed for lots of games for his team right away, including three in four nights to begin the 2015 season.
“With us having strong starts, I was willing to do that at the start,” the GM said. “You don’t have as many injuries and stuff like that, so I figure we’ll have full, good rosters for all those games.”
The team tends to return core guys at all positions, which means it’s never really rebuilding compared to other teams around the league.
Jon Diplock, team captain, said with the talent on the squad, guys only know how to play at a high level.
“It’s just the expectations that we’ve held on each other and ourselves…” he said. “We’re all capable. We all know how to play lacrosse, so it’s just a matter of coming out here and doing our job, and we expect that from the start.”
The senior B Timbermen have shown signs that they’re going to be a committed group in 2015. Sometimes roster numbers are low for midweek road games like the season opener tonight (April 23) in Ladner, but Swanson said 25 guys wanted to go.
It’s a tough place to play and the Pioneers are a longtime rival, but the T-men intend to go and take two points, Swanson said.
Mike Maughan, coach of the senior B squad, said it will just be a matter of being prepared mentally and physically.
“We’re looking forward to going over there and getting the year off on a good note and let them know we’ll be a strong team,” he said. “And hopefully they’re not looking forward to seeing us.”
The Timbermen will be led in goal again this season by starter Nick Patterson, with Simon Stocks and Ryan Hanna two of the key guys on defence. Diplock will lead the offence again, along with other top scorers Ryan Forslund and Steve Higgs. Russell Thomas, Travis Mickelson and Cody Boon will be other contributors up front.
Maughan said the Timbermen, Presidents’ Cup participants two years in a row, have shown they’re an elite team.
“And we expect to do that again this year,” the coach said. “We’re going to put on a good show and we’ll have a good, strong team out there again.”
The group looks forward to playing entertaining lacrosse for fans at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
“Everyone’s pretty skilled with their sticks, so we expect to run the floor with everyone. Our defence and goaltending are going to be unstoppable just like last year…” Diplock said. “[There will be] some high pace, hard hitting, some good goal scoring, and fast breaks all day long.”
GAME ON … The senior B T-men play the Valley Rebels on Saturday (April 25) at 7 p.m. at the NIC. Admission is $10, or free for children. There will be a rematch Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the NIC.