If the Nanaimo Timbermen didn’t have to play first periods, they’d be all right.
A rough start cost the Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse team (0-2-1) again on Tuesday night in a 12-11 loss to the Victoria Shamrocks at Frank Crane Arena.
“We didn’t come out hard enough – you’ve got to come to play right off the bat and not give up those leads,” said Lewis Ratcliff, T-men scorer. “We did a good job of coming back but we can’t do that every game.”
The Shamrocks took a 6-2 lead late in the first period, putting an end to Timbermen goalie Zack Boychuk’s night.
The T-men turned the tables in the second period to make it a one-goal game, and in the third they tied it up on a Doug Langlois goal with five minutes to go.
Two minutes later, though, Victoria scored the winning goal off an unlucky bounce that was out of the reach of Timbermen defenders but right on the stick of the Shamrocks’ Matt Lyons.
Nanaimo had two possessions in the final minute and got the offence set up both times, but misfired. While they lamented the missed opportunities, they know their troubles began with the game’s opening faceoff.
“We can’t play on the back of our heels and allow [opponents] to ball cut, set picks and do whatever they want,” said Art Webster, coach of the Timbermen. “We’ve got to go after them and we didn’t do that in the first period.”
Alternate captain Simon Stocks said two of the reason for the slow starts are that the T-men seem to be feeling out their opponents while also getting used to different teammates each game. A lot of it comes down to focus, he said.
“It’s something that the captains have got to figure out and work on it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, otherwise we could be down a lot of games early in the season.”
There were encouraging signs Tuesday, as all facets of Nanaimo’s game – goaltending, defence, transition and offence – were strong in stretches.
“I don’t really take any positives out of losses. I think we’re a better team than that,” Ratcliff said. “We need to start putting some wins together.”
LACROSSE TALK … Ratcliff hat a hat trick and Scott Ranger and Joel Henry scored two goals apiece. Graham Palmer, Stocks, Sean Nugent and Langlois were the other scorers … To see another photo from Tuesday’s game, please pick up Thursday’s print issue of the News Bulletin … The senior A Timbermen play the Maple Ridge Burrards (2-1) on Sunday (June 5) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.