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Timbermen win fourth straight, beating league’s first-place team

Nanaimo climbs to second place in Western Lacrosse Association

The Nanaimo Timbermen have beaten every team in the WLA as the season reaches the halfway point.

The senior A T-men (7-2) won their fourth-straight game on Sunday, defeating the first-place Burnaby Lakers (8-3) by an 8-5 score at Frank Crane Arena. Nanaimo broke open a tie game by outscoring Burnaby 5-1 in the second period and were in control the rest of the way.

Timbermen coach Kaleb Toth said although his team wasn’t consistent for 60 minutes, it did enough.

“We’re a group that’s going to have to figure out a way to win, whether it’s 8-5 or 15-14…” he said. “I think when we play to our talent and play an honest game, we can beat teams on any given night.”

Brody Eastwood led Nanaimo with a hat trick, Colton Clark scored a goal to go with three assists and Jon Phillips had a goal and two helpers. Conrad Chapman and Nick Finlay scored, too, and Nate Wade rounded out the scoring with a one-handed, over-the-shoulder goal while falling backward toward the crease. Charles Claxton made 40 saves for the win.

The night before, the T-men got past the Coquitlam Adanacs 12-10 on the road. Evan Messenger, Chase Fraser and Cam Wengreniuk had two goals apiece, Phillips had a goal and four assists, Braylon Lumb had a goal and three helpers and Finlay, Clark, Gord Phillips and Jordan Gilles also scored. Sean Tyrell assisted on four goals. Claxton and Mike DeGirolamo shared time in the crease.

Fraser suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s game and though the Timbermen don’t yet know the severity of the injury, it was a factor in a trade-deadline deal the next day as Nanaimo traded second- and third-round draft picks to the Langley Thunder for 6-foot-4 right-handed forward James Rahe.

Sunday’s win against the Lakers means the T-men have picked up a win against every opponent in the WLA, though one of those wins, against New West, came by default.

Nanaimo is about to enter a busy stretch of games with four games in six nights starting with a home game Thursday, July 4, against the Victoria Shamrocks.

“They’re ready,” Toth said. “They understand that this is basically going to be playoff lacrosse, where you play a bunch of games in a short amount of days.”

GAME ON … The T-men and Shamrocks play Thursday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. On Saturday, the T-men host the Maple Ridge Burrards, also a 7 p.m. faceoff at Frank Crane, and then on Sunday it’s the Adanacs coming to Frank Crane for a 6 p.m. faceoff. On July 9, the T-men visit the Lakers.

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