The Nanaimo Timbermen, as always, found themselves in a close game. So the senior A lacrosse team buckled down and did what it took to win.
The Coastal Windows Timbermen defeated the Maple Ridge Burrards 10-8 on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena.
“It’s good for us to win close games,” said Sterling Mitchell, Timbermen defender. “We’ve lost a few at the end this year so it’s good to win one in the third period. In the tight games it’s just learning to win.”
The first period was lacklustre, with the Burrards holding a 2-1 edge through 20 minutes.
“We were a little bit flat earlier in the game, I recognized it even before we stepped on the floor,” said Art Webster, coach of the T-men. “In the second period they came out and starting moving their feet and balls were starting to drop in the net.”
Nanaimo hustled to a 6-2 lead, but Maple Ridge didn’t go away – three times the Burrards made it a one-goal game, but each time the T-men found a way to maintain an edge.
“Maple Ridge is a hard-working team so those close games when you get ahead, they’re never out of it…” Mitchell said. “They’ve got some good shooters from the outside so we were just trying to play aggressive and get out on them.”
Goalie Matt King was a standout with a 33-save performance and he received offensive support primarily from Scott Ranger, who tallied six goals.
“We were able to get the goals that we needed. I thought we battled hard,” Webster said. “Ranger played a heck of a game and I thought Kinger did a great job and that’s what I expect out of our top players.
Doug Langlois, Mat MacLeod, Matt Wray and Patrick Smith had Nanaimo’s other goals.
The team held its rookie-night party after the game, so the victory helped add some smiles to the festivities.
“Every game we’re getting more confidence,” said Matt Wray, transition player. “Guys are getting more comfortable with everybody and the younger guys are starting to feel like they can play at this level and exceed at this level. Everybody’s gained that confidence in each other and themselves.”
GAME ON … The Timbermen (4-4-2) play the Langley Thunder (5-5-1) on Wednesday (July 6) on the mainland in a matchup for third place in the Western Lacrosse Association standings. Please look for a game-day preview at www.nanaimobulletin.com.