Timbermen take on Salmonbellies

First-place Nanaimo plays top-ranked New Westminster in WLA action on the Lower Mainland.

Nanaimo Timbermen defender Bobby Debrone looks to pass off the ball during Sunday's opener at Frank Crane Arena. The Timbermen play the New Westminster Salmonbellies tonight (May 24) in New West.

Nanaimo Timbermen defender Bobby Debrone looks to pass off the ball during Sunday's opener at Frank Crane Arena. The Timbermen play the New Westminster Salmonbellies tonight (May 24) in New West.

The Nanaimo Timbermen beat one contender, now they’ll face another.

The Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse team (1-0) plays the New Westminster Salmonbellies (0-0) tonight (May 24) on the Lower Mainland. So after earning a win against the defending-champion Langley Thunder, the T-men will take on the storied Salmonbellies. The schedule doesn’t get easier, in other words.

“No, it sure doesn’t. Throw us the toughest two teams right off the bat…” said Matt King, Timbermen goalie. “We know how close this league is. Every year it seems to come down to a point or two, so we have to [win] games when we can. We just have to approach the game like we’re going to win it.”

Timbermen player Joel Henry said Nanaimo needs to play a fast-paced game against New West.

“With the young team that we have we can just [bring] energy, energy, energy and outrun teams,” he said.

That’s what worked against the Thunder, so the T-men think it can work against the league’s top-ranked Salmonbellies, too.

New West is led by the Gajic brothers; for the first time ever Nenad, Ilija, Alex and Milan may all be on the floor at once in Western Lacrosse Association action. Nanaimo could be without MVP Scott Ranger, who is battling illness.

“We’re going to have to play the same way we did [Sunday],” said Doug Langlois, transition player. “It’s a tough thing to go in there and win in New West. They’ve got a strong team every single year; they’re always competing for the WLA championship and Mann Cup. We’ve just got to go in there with that same kind of confidence we came in with [Sunday] and expect to win.”

LACROSSE TALK … The Timbermen traded defender Bubba Westwood to the Salmonbellies this week for a third- and fourth-round draft pick. There are mixed reports as to whether he will be in the lineup tonight … All-star forward Cory Conway is expected to report to the Timbermen and the T-men are saying there is a chance he could be in the lineup as soon as Sunday (May 27) in Nanaimo … Tonight’s game at Queen’s Park Arena faces off at 7 p.m. and a free webcast will be available at www.theboxrocks.com … Sunday’s game between the Timbermen and Coquitlam Adanacs is a 7 p.m. start at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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