The Nanaimo Timbermen dropped to last place after back-to-back losses on the weekend.
The senior A T-men were defeated 14-11 by the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Saturday at Frank Crane Arena, then fell 12-8 on Sunday on the road against the Maple Ridge Burrards.
“The season’s starting to get shorter and we need to get wins to make the playoffs,” said Kaleb Toth, coach of the Timbermen. “It’s going to be a tough hill to climb, but I think we can do it. I still believe in the guys.”
Nanaimo was competitive in both weekend contests. Against the Salmonbellies, the T-men narrowed the score to a one- or two-goal margin several times, but couldn’t capture the momentum.
“We did have some good moments, but we had some bad moments…” said Doug Langlois, T-men defender. “They went on a couple runs in the third period and we just couldn’t come back from that.”
Toth said his team made too many errors to win. Turnovers led to transition goals for the opposition and Nanaimo’s defenders lost battles in their end.
“Guys that got beat on defence shouldn’t be getting beat,” Toth said. “They need to push through their checks, they need to be stronger.”
He said the defenders need to pack the middle and look at how to help their teammates.
“We shouldn’t be allowing 14 goals,” Langlois said. “We’ve got to stick to more of the basics. Cross-checking. We started swinging at sticks; we weren’t communicating enough.”
Saturday’s game ended with some rough stuff including a couple of fights in the dying moments. Toth said his guys “did what they were supposed to do” and helped their teammates.
“We don’t have any tough guys on this team – we’re team tough,” he said. “We’ve got to stick up for each other.”
The T-men hoped to bring those hard feelings over to the mainland and use them as a spark the next night for the game against the Burrards. The game was tight for two periods and the Timbermen took a 7-6 lead early in the third before the home team took control.
Mitch Parker and Eli McLaughlin scored two goals each against the Burrards. Cayle Ratcliff, Adam Bakular-Evans, Brody Eastwood and Cody Bremner were other scorers and goalie Zak Boychuk made 33 saves in defeat.
The night before, Bremner had a hat trick and two assists, Parker had a goal and four assists, Mac Johnston scored a pair and Ratcliff, Langlois, Tyson Roe, McLaughlin and Eastwood were the other scorers. Boychuk was relieved in the third period by Peter Dubenski.
GAME ON … The Timbermen play the Langley Thunder on Saturday (July 4) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena, then play a rematch July 8 in Langley.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) June 28, 2015