NANAIMO — It wasn't the easy way, but the Nanaimo senior B Timbermen again came from behind to beat the Ladner Pioneers — this time to capture a provincial championship.
The Timbermen edged Ladner 14-13 in overtime of the third and decisive game of the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association championship Tuesday night at a noisy Frank Crane Arena.
Hired gun Jeff Shattler was the big story, piling up 7 goals and 3 assists for the hosts, including the eventual game winner with 1:17 left in overtime, sending about 800 fans into a frenzy.
Team captain Jonny Diplock helped fuel a third period and overtime charge for Nanaimo. The Tmen trailed at one point 12-9 in the third stanza, but the scrappy Diplock created several turnovers and helped shift the momentum in Nanaimo's favour.
“It means we can win big games here, we don't crush under pressure. We've got the composure, we can do it in big time situations,” Diplock said.
Diplock finished with a goal and 3 assists. Corey Shires also played a critical offensive role with 2 goals and 5 helpers.
Timbermen goalie Peter Dubenski shook off a bit of second period rust and was rock solid in the third period and overtime.
Nanaimo hit adversity a few times, including the departure of elite offensive threat Cory Conway, who was ejected after a second period fight.
The Tmen comeback was put on hold when Shattler was handed a 5-minute major penalty in the third period.
Kyle Couling, Tmen head coach, said Shattler is an amazing talent who was brought in to be a game-changer.
“That's why he's here, he's here to put the ball in the net and he did it tonight, he proved to be the difference in the game,” Couling said.
Shattler, an accomplished star at all levels of professional lacrosse, was acquired by the Timbermen specifically for the President's Cup national championship, which Nanaimo will host Aug. 26 to Sept. 2.
Ladner, who won the series opener 7-4, also advances to the national championship in the harbour city.
Tmen transitional stalwart Doug Langlois believed erasing a late game deficit in game 2 of the series to win 12-11 in double overtime in Ladner to stay alive in the series made them a more battle-tested club.
“I think doing it Saturday with only 14 runners really gave us a big shot in the arm and we carried it over to tonight,” Langlois told NanaimoNewsNOW.
Langlois, a former longtime member of the WLA Timbermen, said there was no panic on the bench or the floor when they trailed late in regulation with a provincial title on the line.
“We had a lapse in the second period, but we put in a hell of an effort in the third period and overtime, that was a gutsy performance by everyone,” Langlois said.
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
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