Back-to-back games resulted in back-to-back losses for the Nanaimo Timbermen.
The senior A Coastal Windows Timbermen lost 9-6 to the first-placed Langley Thunder on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena, then fell 11-10 to the last-placed Maple Ridge Burrards the next night on the mainland.
The T-men (5-5-1) felt like Saturday’s loss was a missed opportunity as they went into the third period within two goals of a Thunder team that wasn’t at the top of its game.
“They played [Friday] night, they were a little bit sluggish out there and we had a good chance to take it,” said Simon Stocks, alternate captain on the Timbermen. “We kind of beat ourselves out there … It was just a couple mistakes that really cost us.”
Nanaimo was moving the ball around well on offence to start the third period, but couldn’t close the two-goal deficit as Thunder goalie Steve Fryer made some difficult saves. Midway through the third period Langley got two goals a few seconds apart and were able to hang on.
“Our defence stepped up because our offence wasn’t really clicking,” said Lewis Ratcliff, Thunder forward. “They did a good job of playing hard. We had a game [Friday] night so I think we played a little tired but our defence did a great job and Fryer stepped in and played awesome.”
The T-men outshot the Thunder 54-41, with Matt King suffering the loss in goal. Scott Ranger and Joel Henry had two goals each and Ryan Keith and Cody Bremner had singles. For Langley, Rob Van Beek and Alex Turner scored hat tricks and former T-men star Ratcliff had a goal and two assists. He said he couldn’t care less whether he had a big game against the Timbermen.
“It’s always nice to beat teams that you’ve played on before and it’s more fun to come play in old buildings,” Ratcliff said. “But a win’s a win.”
In Sunday’s game against the Burrards, the T-men had a 4-1 first-period lead but faltered late. The home team scored the game-winning goal with nine seconds to go.
King went the distance in goal in that one, too, as Nanaimo outshot Maple Ridge 54-42. Former junior T-men goalie Drew Dickie got the ‘W’ for the Burrards. Ranger had four goals and two assists and Henry and Blake Kenny had two goals apiece. Cody Bremner had a goal and four helpers and Cayle Ratcliff had Nanaimo’s other goal.
GAME ON … The Timbermen visit the Burnaby Lakers (6-5-2) on Friday (July 13) and then host the Burrards (2-10-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.