Thunder in forecast for T-men juniors

Nanaimo Timbermen junior A player Kyle Hofer and his teammates open the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League season Sunday in Langley.

Nanaimo Timbermen junior A player Kyle Hofer and his teammates open the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League season Sunday in Langley.

The Nanaimo Timbermen get thrown right into the thick of things this weekend.

The city’s B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League team starts its season on Sunday (May 1) with a road game against the Langley Thunder.

The Timbermen make the trip shorthanded as they await the return of some players from college. That’s always the case at this time of year, though, so the T-men just need to take it upon themselves to play that much harder.

“It comes down at that point to heart and desire,” said Dave Bremner, coach of the Nanaimo juniors. “You’ve got to outwork the other team and be smart with possessions of the ball.”

The T-men have been running all pre-season and will try to keep up the pace on Sunday.

“The team we have right now is capable of winning games,” said Ryan Sage, T-men player. “And our goaltender is going to stand on his head, hopefully, for the first few games and help us out.”

Langley looks to pose a stiffer challenge than in past years. The Thunder opened their season Wednesday with a one-goal loss to the powerful Coquitlam Adanacs, and in pre-season, the Thunder beat the Victoria Shamrocks while the Timbermen lost to the ’Rocks.

“We are getting younger, we are getting faster, we are getting better,” said Brock Rose, general manager of the Thunder.

Timbermen veteran Paul Brebber said for now, his team just needs to keep things simple.

“We’ve just got to play basic offence and basic defence, keep them outside, don’t let them get inside and shoot,” he said.

GAME ON … The junior A Timbermen play an exhibition game tonight (April 29) against the senior B DBL Timbermen at 7:30 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The home opener for the junior A squad is Friday (May 6) against the Delta Islanders at 7:30 p.m. at the NIC. For a T-men season preview, see Thursday’s issue of the News Bulletin.

-files from Gary Ahuja