More than ever, the championship could be up for grabs.
The senior B Nanaimo Timbermen begin play Wednesday (July 15) in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association playoffs as they take the floor against the Langley Warriors.
The league has streamlined its playoff format this summer, with only four teams making the post-season. One of the squads on the outside looking in is the Tri-City Bandits, who had won seven straight WCSLA championships before this year.
The Timbermen say it doesn’t really matter that Tri-City isn’t in the mix this summer.
“They’ve had a good stranglehold on it for a number of years, so it’s definitely different … We’ve been a strong team the last few years and we weren’t able to beat them a couple times in the finals,” said Mike Maughan, coach of the T-men. “But we don’t really care who it is [we face].”
The first-round opponent is Langley, who played Nanaimo tough this year. The teams meet in a best-of-five semifinal.
“I think that will be a good matchup. We’ve just got to stick to our game plan and things will work out for us,” said Nick Patterson, T-men goalie.
Maughan said the regular-season finale, a win against the rival Ladner Pioneers with first place on the line, was a good way for his team to raise its level of play going into the series against the Warriors.
“We know they’re a pretty strong team, too, so we know we’re going to have to play our best,” the coach said.
So the Timbermen enter playoffs with momentum, first-place seeding, and high hopes to win their first championship since 2003.
“This year definitely feels different because we feel like we are the better team,” said Jon Diplock, team captain. “I don’t think there’s any question, talent-wise and what our expectations are. We’re really riding that high.”
GAME ON … The Timbermen and Warriors play Game 1 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Game 2 is Friday in the Fraser Valley, and Game 3 is Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Frank Crane.
Here’s the playoff schedule for the Sr. B Nanaimo Timbermen. They play Game 1 against Langley tomorrow night… pic.twitter.com/xSQ7PZSLIO
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) July 14, 2015