Despite using what assistant coach Traves Black said was “probably our weakest lineup” this season, the Cowichan Thunder managed to keep things close in their Pacific Northwest Junior Lacrosse League game against the Westshore Bears on Tuesday.
“They battled hard right to the end, and that’s all we can ask from them,” Black said after the Thunder’s 13-11 loss to the Bears at Kerry Park Arena.
The Thunder were missing alternate captain Graham Winship — who was serving the second game of a three-game suspension — and Kelvin Philp up front, while the defence was without Mitch Page and Paul Yaremus for the entire game, and Steven Robertson for the first part.
Trailing 5-2 after the first period, the Thunder continued to falter early in the second. They surged back late in the middle frame, however, and were down 9-7 going into the third. Westshore again dominated the early going of the final period, but Cowichan bounced back and ended the third down by the same number of goals they started with.
Eight games into the 18-game season, the team is still gelling, Black noted, although he did see some improvements.
“Our offence was starting to move better,” he said.
Adam Golia led the Cowichan attack with four goals and three assists, while Colin Winship had two goals and two assists, and Tyson Black had two goals and one assist.
Taylor Martin and affiliate player Brayden Zunti, called up from the intermediate A Port Coquitlam Saints, each scored once and set up two goals, and Jacob Taylor had one goal and one assist. Jaeden Ashbee had three assists, goalie Pollo Claxton had two, and Lucas Nagel had one.
The Thunder are scheduled to visit the Saanich Tigers on Friday and the Nanaimo Timbermen next Wednesday. Their next home game is set for Saturday, June 4 against Saanich.