The Nanaimo Timbermen were hyped up to play the Ladner Pioneers, and turned that energy into a positive.
The senior B Timbermen defeated the Pioneers 15-8 on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena to claim the regular-season title in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association.
“Everybody was fired up for that game. We knew what was on the line and what it meant going into playoffs,” said Nick Patterson, T-men goalie. “Everybody played hard, played smart and we controlled the pace of the game.”
Nanaimo jumped out to a 6-3 lead after the first period, but Ladner chipped away and closed the margin to 8-7 early in the third period.
“We knew there was going to be some pushback, which there was, and the guys responded really well…” said Mike Maughan, coach of the Timbermen. “We knew we were going to have a tough game, a tight game and a good game, so it was really impressive to see how well prepared the guys were and how their effort level was.”
When the game got close in the third, the T-men went on a run that put the score out of reach. Jon Diplock, Timbermen captain, said his team kept in mind the stakes of the game, but kept its focus on the next play.
“We knew it was getting too close and we knew we could pull ahead,” he said. “We just pretty much told each other to do the smart plays, make the smart, easy decisions.”
Maughan said the team has been targeting first place since the beginning of the season, and he said it was kind of cool that it came down to the last game against the Pioneers.
“It’s what we’ve been pushing for all season. It’s been our goal, and it’s nice to reach your goals,” Patterson said. “And home-floor advantage in playoffs is huge in this league with the amount of travel and games during the week.”
Patterson made 27 saves for the win and Diplock and Derek Lowe had hat tricks to lead Nanaimo’s offence. Shane Chalker scored a pair and other scorers were Cody Boon, Ryan Hanna, Steve Higgs, Ryan Forslund, Graham Palmer, Jonny Gill and Andrew Miller.
GAME ON … The T-men will face the Langley Warriors in the WCSLA semifinals. Scheduling is yet to be determined. Please look for more on the series later this week in the News Bulletin and online at www.nanaimobulletin.com/sports.
Nanaimo Sr. B Timbermen win the WCSLA regular-season title with 15-8 win last night against Ladner Pioneers… pic.twitter.com/oTGZKNkmpJ
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) July 12, 2015