After three wins, then three losses, the Nanaimo Timbermen hope they’ve started another positive surge.
The Coastal Windows Timbermen (6-6-1) defeated the Maple Ridge Burrards 12-9 on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena to keep pace in the Western Lacrosse Association’s playoff hunt.
Most of the senior A lacrosse team’s home victories have been thrilling finishes, but this time, the T-men made sure there wasn’t any unnecessary drama, comfortably holding off the Burrards in the third period.
“We executed a little bit better,” said Scott Ranger, T-men captain. “We beared down and got the goals when we needed them. Got the saves when we needed them, too.”
Zak Boychuk got the win in a relief effort, stopping 23 of 25 shots, and Maple Ridge’s Drew Dickie kept the game closer than it could have been.
“We should have outscored them by six-to-eight goals, really, with the chances that … the whole front end had,” said Art Webster, T-men coach.
Still, the offence scored enough to close out the game, which is what the coach asked them to do.
“When we get that lead we’ve got to find a way to do that and we did,” he said. “We took care of the ball, we made better decisions.”
It was a game the Timbermen felt like they needed after suffering a 14-12 overtime loss to the Burnaby Lakers on Friday night on the road.
“We needed a good game to bounce back and it felt good to come up with a big win…” said Myles Kenny, T-men transition player. “Nobody wants to go on a losing streak because then everybody will start getting onto each other. So a big win was pretty huge towards the rest of our season.”
Ranger, too, said the win will be an important one in the Timbermen locker room.
“We’re a young team so if we’re losing that confidence, we’re fragile, and if we’re gaining confidence, like we did tonight, then we could be a dangerous team,” he said.
Kenny was the game’s first star after scoring his first career hat trick and going 13-for-18 on faceoffs. Ranger also had a hat trick, Cayle Ratcliff had two goals and two assists and Kyle Hofer, Joel Henry and Kaleb Toth were the other scorers.
The night before in Burnaby, the T-men fell behind 8-1 in the first period but fought back and eventually took the lead before the Lakers scored with a minute and a half left to force OT.
Ranger had four goals in that one, Cody Bremner had a hat trick and two helpers and Ryan Keith scored a pair. Sean Nugent, Ratcliff and Toth also tallied.
Lakers player Colton Clark, who is from Nanaimo, had two goals including the game-winning goal three minutes into overtime.
Even though Saturday’s win was Nanaimo’s first in four games, the T-men still find themselves in the thick of things in the WLA standings.
“We’re right back in the hunt,” Webster said. “Second place is still available, really, but we’ve still got to win those games. Everybody talks about games in hand but we’ve still got to win them.”
GAME ON … Next action for Nanaimo is Thursday (July 19) on the road against the New Westminster Salmonbellies. The tilt starts at 7 p.m. and is available as a pay-per-view webcast at www.theboxrocks.com … After that, the Timbermen visit the Coquitlam Adanacs on Saturday (July 21) and then host the Lakers on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.