There’s no one the Nanaimo Timbermen would rather face in their home opener than the Victoria Shamrocks.
The senior A T-men will roll out the welcome mat for fans on Tuesday (May 20) at Frank Crane Arena, but they’ll try to make the Shamrocks feel unwelcome.
“We always have pretty good, intense games against Victoria. A lot of intensity, a lot of back-and-forth action,” said Graham Palmer, T-men captain. “I’m not sure what their team looks like this year, but we’ll be ready for them.”
The Shamrocks are expected to have a different sort of roster than a year ago, but they’re still the reigning Western Lacrosse Association champions.
“They’re going to come in with a little bit of swagger and we’re going to try to wipe that swagger off of them and show them that we’ve improved and that we’re not going to be a pushover,” said Kaleb Toth, coach of the T-men.
He played for both teams during his WLA career and understands what these games mean.
“Nanaimo and Victoria don’t get along in any sport, whether it’s hockey, lacrosse, football,” he said. “It’s an Island rivalry and I don’t expect anything different.”
Cayle Ratcliff of the T-men is expecting a “battle” game, with chances at both ends and hard hitting.
“They don’t like us; we don’t like them, so it should be a good one,” he said. “Guys are excited to get their first home game under their belt and hopefully the community will come out and support us and we’ll give them the best product we can on the floor.”
The T-men opened the WLA season on Sunday on the mainland, falling 8-6 in overtime to the Maple Ridge Burrards. Nanaimo went into the third period trailing 4-2 but outscored the home team 4-2 in that frame to force OT.
Cody Bremner and Blake Kenny had two goals apiece, Doug Langlois had one goal and one assist, Macgregor Johnston had two assists and Graham Palmer also scored. Zak Boychuk made 46 saves as his team was outshot 54-50.
GAME ON … The Timbermen and Shamrocks play at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Frank Crane Arena. Tickets at the door. Children 12 and under wearing a lacrosse jersey will be admitted free … For other recent articles on the Nanaimo Timbermen senior A lacrosse club, please click here and here.