The all-new Nanaimo Timbermen showed right away that they can be right in the mix this season.
The Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse team won its first game and lost its second to start the 2013 Western Lacrosse Association campaign.
The T-men beat the Burnaby Lakers 8-7 on Friday on the mainland, then returned home Sunday and got outscored 15-12 by the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
“We’re obviously happy we’re 1-1 but we’re also disappointed that we’re 1-1,” said Kaleb Toth, Nanaimo coach, after Sunday’s loss. “We kind of let this one go by just making too many little mistakes.”
The Timbermen kept pace with the ‘Bellies in the first half of the game, holding a 7-6 lead in the early stages of the second period, but New West’s Alex Gajic sniped a couple of outside shots to give his team a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Nanaimo wasn’t as effective as New West with the five-on-five offence and the visitors were also better on the power play and penalty kill. The T-men did a lot of things the coach wanted to see, though, playing a hard-working game and finding some success with the transition game.
“Whenever our D guys would run the ball up the floor in transition, we usually created a good scoring opportunity but unfortunately we didn’t get enough of those,” said Toth.
Blake Kenny scored a hat trick to lead Nanaimo’s offence, Mike Berekoff had a goal and four assists and Paul Brebber had two goals. The highlight of the night was a 180-foot goal, as New West mis-timed its shot with the extra attacker at the end of the second period and Myles Kenny was able to hit the empty net with one second left. Other scorers were Cayle Ratcliff, Braeden Kmita, Chris O’Dougherty, Kyle Hofer and Brad Mazzocato.
Blake Kenny said Nanaimo’s offence is still building chemistry.
“We’re just going to have to motion, swing the ball, work our two-man game and try and make stuff happen,” he said. “It’s just going to be a matter of getting used to playing with each other, and the systems.”
In the meantime, the Timbermen will only be encouraged by their results to start 2013.
“Our game plan all season, really, is going to be to go out there and outwork teams … and see if we can come out on top,” Blake Kenny said.
LACROSSE TALK … In Friday’s game, goalie Zak Boychuk made 48 saves to lead his team to victory as the Lakers had a 55-37 edge in shots. Graham Palmer scored the game-winning goal with one minute left in that one. He and Doug Langlois each had two goals and Ratcliff, Brebber, Hofer and Blake Kenny also scored … Palmer was named team captain last week … The T-men have some time off before they play two road games next week, visiting the Langley Thunder on Wednesday (May 29) and then the Coquitlam Adanacs on June 1.