The Nanaimo Timbermen juniors want to develop a winning attitude, but that’s going to require some wins.
The city’s B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League club (1-5) heads over to the mainland Sunday (May 26) to face the Port Coquitlam Saints (3-4). It’s an important game for this early stage of the season, as the seventh-place T-men don’t want to fall too far back of the sixth-place Saints and the final playoff position.
Nanaimo has only won by default so far in 2013.
“You could say we’re 1-5 but I believe we’re still 0-6. We haven’t come off the floor yet with two points that we’ve deserved,” said Brad Dougan, coach of the junior T-men. “It is frustrating. I’m trying to get this work ethic going and I don’t want these guys from last year thinking it’s OK, because I think last year guys accepted losing.”
During the 2012 season, Timbermen management only waited until mid-June to blow up the core of the team. The T-men aren’t about to give up on this season yet, but they’re looking for solutions right now.
“As coaches, we’re going to sit down and change some stuff up,” said Dougan. “I think we’ve got to go with more grinders, blue-collar guys … We need 20 guys on board in this league. I can’t send five O guys and five D guys night in and night out. I need 10 on each side of the floor playing hard.”
The team has only recently gotten all its players back from college, but that’s no excuse, said the coach. He said a lot of the mistakes being made are fundamentals that junior A lacrosse players should know, whether they’ve practised them or not.
“We’re trying to find excuses right now and excuses aren’t good enough in this dressing room,” Dougan said.
Nick Sanderson, T-men veteran, said for an attitude change to happen, every guy needs to be on board.
“It’s on and off the floor,” he said. “Especially to build a Minto Cup championship team, everyone has to be in.”
He thinks the T-men are getting close. Some nights, he said, certain facets of the game are working but others aren’t.
“We just need to be all on the same page from the get-go,” Sanderson said. “And I think we’ll pull out a ‘W’ if we can do that.”
GAME ON … Next home action for the junior Timbermen will be June 2 against the Delta Islanders at 5 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.