Box lacrosse season comes to an end in Nanaimo

By Dan Marshall
August 2, 2017 - 10:01am

The Senior A Timbermen salute their fans after the final game of the WLA season on SundayGary Johansen

NANAIMO — The dry floors in local arenas will be completely flooded soon.
Lacrosse season is over and hockey season is right around the corner.
For the Senior A Timbermen 2017 fell short of expectations.
They were hoping for just their second playoff berth in team history but found themselves in fifth place with a 7-10-1 record. 
That's certainly better than the four win season in 2016 so coach Kaleb Toth is focusing on the positives.
"The compete level and the confidence the guys showed this year was a lot better. The mentality has changed, it's no longer ok to lose in Nanaimo - we're not accepting it," said Toth.
The Senior A's were led by co-leading scorers Chase Fraser and Ryan Lee who both finished with 52 points.
Lee was the 2016 WLA Rookie of the Year, and Fraser could earn that honour in 2017 after leading all freshman in scoring.
To break into the playoffs in 2018 the Timbermen will have to be significantly better against the top clubs in the WLA.
Against the teams that qualified for the post season the Tmen were 1-10-1, and against the non-playoff clubs Nanaimo was 6-0.
Just a few seasons ago there were questions about the long term viability of the Timbermen but Toth says the executive headed by Chris Bowman has done a great job to secure sponsors and interest in the community.
"We're not a rich franchise, we can't afford to pay players. We don't have a huge budget so we have to rely on the community to sponsor us. We try to give back to our sponsors, we try to make sure we have an entertaining product, and offer them things like camps and appearances."
The goal now will be to take things a step further and get to the playoffs in 2018.
Expectations are much higher for Nanaimo's other Senior team.
The Senior B Timbermen (7-6-0-1) finished a disappointing fifth in the WCSLA this summer.
Usually the Tmen are at or near the top of the standings but the team battled inconsistent play for much of the year.
Nanaimo did sweep their first round playoff series against Victoria, but followed that up by losing a three game sweep at the hands of the Ladner Pioneers.
2018 will be a special year for the Senior B's because they are hosting the President's Cup national championship at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
The last time a Senior B team from the harbour city won a President's Cup was in 1969 when the Nanaimo Luckies raised the trophy.
It's rare that Nanaimo has both Senior lacrosse teams wrapping up before August, a year from now they'll hope to be playing their at best as the summer winds down and in contention for their respective league championships. 
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