Timbermen Spoil Home Opener Party


Times Colonist - May 23th - By Mario Annicchiarico

of the talk from the Victoria Shamrocks heading into the 2015 Western Lacrosse Association season was one of getting back to the Mann Cup, but the two-time defending league champions didn’t quite Man Up in their opener on Friday night.

Former Junior Shamrocks’ star Brody Eastwood was a one-man wrecking machine as the visiting Nanaimo Timbermen unceremoniously dumped the Shamrocks 8-6 in front of a sold-out crowd of just under 3,000 at The Q Centre.

Eastwood had four goals and an assist and fellow Victoria product Cody Bremner added four assists for Nanaimo. The two teams meet again on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

With Tyler Hass (injury) and Karsen Leung (Calgary Roughnecks) away, there was some question on how the Shamrocks’ transition game would perform in pushing the ball up the floor. They certainly missed the two, but that was no excuse on this night.

This was a rusty affair from the get-go as the teams were tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes before Eastwood went off with three in the second period and another in the third.

“I don’t know if it was as much rust as it was just gelling or having the chemistry,” said Shamrocks assistant coach Dave Lowdon. “We had lots of shots and a lot of good looks. [Zack] Boychuk played real well, too, but we need to put the ball in the net.”

Boychuk faced 50 shots from the Shamrocks and stood tall.

“It wasn’t the start we wanted, but give Nanaimo all the credit. Brody Eastwood had a phenomenal game, but we just have to respond to it,” said Lowdon.

“We have to go back there Sunday night and be better. We have to play an all-round better game. We need to win Sunday night because we do not want to lose any series this year.”

Mitch Parker had a goal and three assists for the Timbermen, while Mac Johnston added a goal and two helpers. Doug Langlois and Jake Emms had the other goals.

Emms’s tally came at 12:33 of the third period after Rhys Duch scored two in 20 seconds that cut the Nanaimo lead to 7-6 at 11:23. Duch finished with three goals and an assist for Victoria. Chris Wardle and Cory Conway each had a goal and two helpers. Scott Ranger had the other for the hosts.

Cody Hagedorn made 30 saves for Victoria.

CLOVER POINTS: The Shamrocks honoured former player, coach and mentor Chris Hall with a moment of silence before the game and announced their annual spirit and sportsmanship award handed out at year’s end will be named after the lacrosse legend.

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