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Cowichan Thunder lacrosse products experience success far and wide

Players make their mark at international, senior, junior and U14 marks
Tyson Roe leads the charge for England at the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in Langley. Roe was named MVP at the 2022 European Box Lacrosse Championships this summer. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Former Cowichan Valley Lacrosse Association players have been experiencing success on some of the sport’s biggest stages this summer.

Tyson Roe, a longtime member of the senior A Nanaimo Timbermen and one of the first players selected to the National Lacrosse League’s expansion Las Vegas Desert Dogs, was named tournament MVP as he led England to gold at the European Box Lacrosse Championships, which took place in Hannover, Germany on July 30-Aug. 6.

The Timbermen are currently playing for the Western Lacrosse Association championship, although Roe is unfortunately sidelined with an injury. The Nanaimo team is not without Cowichan content, however, as Colton Lidstone sits third in playoff scoring for the T-Men with 22 points (three goals and 19 assists) in seven games. Lidstone finished second on the team in regular-season scoring with 56 points (18 goals and 38 assists) in 17 games.

Lidstone’s T-Men lost the first three games of the WLA final to the Langley Thunder, who feature another former Cowichan Thunder player, Thomas Vaesen. Vaesen has four points (one goal and three assists) in two playoff appearances, after posting 23 points (nine goals and 14 assists) in nine regular-season games. Game four of the best-of-seven WLA final is set for Thursday night in Langley. If a fifth game is necessary, it will go on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Nanaimo’s Frank Crane Arena.

Langley’s semifinal opponent was the Victoria Shamrocks, who had their own Cowichan alumnus on board in the form of rookie goaltender Colin Jeffrey. Jeffrey appeared in four of the Shamrocks’ six playoff games, with a 12.89 goals-against average and .724 save percentage. In the regular season, he played in 13 of Victoria’s 18 games, with an 9.67 GAA and .745 SPCT.

Former Cowichan players Denton MacDonald and Cam Lumb are currently playing for the Minto Cup national championship with the junior A Victoria Shamrocks. MacDonald was second on the team in the regular season with 59 points (11 goals and 48 assists) in 12 games, then added 17 points (two goals and 15 assists) in 11 playoff games. Lumb, a defender, posted seven points (two goals and five assists) in 14 regular-season games and five points (three goals and two assists) in 11 playoff games.

In the junior B2 ranks, former Cowichan players Devyn Zunti and Jeremy Benson helped lead the Saanich Express to the provincial championship, winning the final over the Westshore Bears, who included former Thunder players Adam Klassen and Colton Gron.

Finally, current Cowichan Thunder U14 goalie Tyson Atkinson helped Team BC to the silver medal at the 2022 Minor Box Lacrosse Nationals, which wrapped up last Saturday in Langley.