Timbermen win opener 17-7

NANAIMO – The Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse team opened the WLA season with a 17-7 win over the Langley Thunder on Sunday.

Nanaimo Timbermen player Cody Bremner

Nanaimo Timbermen player Cody Bremner

To see a slideshow of photos from Sunday’s senior A lacrosse game, please click here.

The Nanaimo Timbermen had a fantastic, record-setting start to the lacrosse season.

The Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse team opened the Western Lacrosse Association season with a 17-7 win over the Langley Thunder on Sunday night at Frank Crane Arena.

Playing in front of their largest crowd in years, the Timbermen set a new franchise record for goals in a home game, and more importantly, started the season with a victory.

“We have a new attitude this year,” said Doug Langlois, transition player. “We’re coming in expecting to win games.”

The Timbermen were good in all facets, showing balanced offence, workmanlike defence, standout goaltending and some toughness.

“The energy level on our team was just awesome,” said Matt King, Timbermen goalie. “A lot of the new guys that we brought in weren’t intimidated and just worked their butts off.”

The T-men leaped to a 5-1 lead after the first period and although the Thunder had the edge in play in the second period, King was diving all over the place making saves. He made 22 stops in the frame to preserve the four-goal margin and send his team into the third period up 9-5. Langley scored the first two goals of the third to make things interesting, but Nanaimo went on a run the rest of the way.

“In the third period we exposed them by moving the ball and keeping it hot and not being selfish,” said Art Webster, Timbermen coach. “The ball wasn’t in anyone’s sticks more than two seconds.”

Joel Henry led the attack with five goals and two assists and Scott Ranger had four goals and five assists. Cody Bremner scored four goals to go with two assists and Langlois was the other Timbermen player to post a hat trick. Ryan Keith had a goal and three helpers, Kyle Hofer had five assists and Kaleb Toth had three assists. King finished with 44 saves as the Timbermen outshot the Thunder 55-51.

The only other time the T-men franchise has scored 17 goals in one game was in a road win over the Coquitlam Adanacs two years ago.

“For our offence to do what it did was pretty unbelievable,” said Henry. “And Kinger, hat’s off to him, and the defence. Seven goals, in this league, you’re going to win a lot of games if you’re [limiting] the other team [to] seven goals. I was pretty surprised and excited about that.”

The Thunder were missing a lot of key players, including Lewis Ratcliff, who had travel problems, Garrett Billings, Brodie MacDonald and others.

“Still, we did everything we were supposed to do,” said King. “And we looked really good doing it.”

GAME ON … The Timbermen play the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Thursday on the mainland. Nanaimo’s next home game is Sunday (May 27) when it hosts the Adanacs at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena … Henry’s five-goal game was all the more remarkable considering that he began the day in Minnesota and also passed through Phoenix en route to Vancouver Island, arriving in Nanaimo two hours before faceoff … For much more coverage of the senior A Timbermen, please bookmark www.nanaimobulletin.com/sports.