So much is going right for the Nanaimo Timbermen right now that even their goalie is getting into the scoring act.
Nanaimo senior A goaltender Charles Claxton scored two goals on Sunday as the T-men won a road game against the Maple Ridge Burrards, 10-6.
Claxton’s goals came 28 seconds apart, both empty-netters that helped to secure Nanaimo’s fourth win in a row in WLA action.
“I’ve never seen a goalie score two goals,” said Kaleb Toth, Timbermen coach. “It’s got to be some kind of record.”
Claxton, the league leader in both goals-against average and save percentage, had by that point in the game made more than 40 saves.
“They got a shot and he controlled the rebound, which he’s been doing a really good job of,” said Toth. “The first one looked like it was going to bounce over but it ended up bouncing in just underneath the bar, and the second one was dead centre.”
Toth said had Claxton missed, “he would have heard it from me,” because the coach would prefer not to risk turning the ball over and instead take the opportunity to try to kill 30 seconds of clock.
“I saw we were up by a few goals so I figured, why not go for it? I’m really glad I didn’t miss, I think [coach] would have been quite mad,” Claxton said.
The goalie scored goals on two separate occasions in minor lacrosse, once at peewee provincials and once when he was midget-age competing at the B.C. Summer Games. But two in one game isn’t something he would have envisioned.
“I would never have thought I’d get two. I kind of wish I could have got three,” Claxton said.
He was asked if the two goals put him ahead of any of the runners on the Timbermen.
“I think I might have a goal on some guys; I’m not entirely sure. I don’t really want to go look into that,” he said.
The WLA media guide and record book I have is several years old, but it doesn't include any category/records for goals by a goaltender. Might end up being hard to confirm whether a record was set.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) July 16, 2018
Claxton’s two-goal game might have been the highlight, but he said Sunday was another “great team effort” with energy all the way through leading up to the winning result.
“We’re buzzing right now,” Claxton said. “We’re starting to believe in ourselves a little bit more each game that we have and we’re really starting to click as a group, bonding quite well and you can see it translate onto our our game.”
He finished with 42 saves and was chosen first star. Colton Clark led Nanaimo’s offence with a hat trick and two assists and Chase Fraser also scored a hat trick. Evan Messenger added a goal and three assists and Nate Wade was Nanaimo’s other scorer.
Nanaimo has gone eight games without a regulation loss. Sunday’s win lifts the Timbermen into a tie for second place in the WLA standings with three games remaining.
GAME ON … The Timbermen have just one game this coming weekend as they host the Coquitlam Adanacs on Sunday, July 22, at 6 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.