The Nanaimo Timbermen had high hopes for a strong start to the season, but those hopes were drowned by the Burnaby Lakers.
The Coastal Windows Timbermen were defeated 13-9 by the Burnaby Lakers on Friday on the Lower Mainland.
“They were ready to play when we showed up, and we weren’t,” said Scott Ranger, Timbermen captain.
The T-men were sunk during a stretch where they were shut out for 35 minutes. During that time, the Lakers turned a 2-2 tie into a 10-2 edge.
“We put ourselves in a hole with all the penalties,” said Brett Savory, assistant coach on the Timbermen. “We were just in the penalty box too much and it’s hard to get any momentum going that way.”
The Lakers were 5-for-5 on the power play while Nanaimo was 2-for-6. Both teams had long stretches of five-on-three advantages.
“Our power play was absolutely atrocious tonight and we’re going to hold that on our team,” Ranger said. “We had lots of opportunities and we didn’t put the ball in the net.”
Lakers rookie Colton Clark said his team tried to target Nanaimo’s weaker defenders and undisciplined players. He was impressed with the early-season chemistry his young team exhibited.
“Everybody played well together, nobody’s selfish, everybody’s willing to pass the ball for the other guy to score,” Clark said.
Savory said Nanaimo’s young players need to continue to adjust to the Western Lacrosse Association.
“I thought they did well, the new guys, but it’s hard,” said the assistant coach. “It’s a big step up for them. The goaltending’s better, the defence is better, you don’t have as much time like they did in junior.”
The Timbermen will take heart from their comeback attempt late in the game, when they outscored the Lakers 7-3 over the final 13 minutes.
“I could feel the desperation that we didn’t have in the first period,” Savory said. “By the third period that desperation lacrosse was there. We were harder to the net, we were scoring, but it took us too long to get there.”
Ranger said that kind of hustle needs to be there for 60 minutes.
Losing the opener is frustrating and disappointing, said the captain, but the T-men will try to learn from the loss.
“We’re going to take that one to heart but you can’t dwell on things,” Ranger said. “You’ve got to put them behind you and work on the next one.”
LACROSSE TALK … Ranger scored the first goal of the season for the Timbermen on an outside shot and ended up with four goals and an assist. Joel Henry scored twice and Mike MacLeod, Cayle Ratcliff and Jordan Sealock had Nanaimo’s other tallies. Matt Quinton had three goals and three assists for Burnaby and Clark had two goals and three helpers.