Although the intermediate B Cowichan Valley Thunder dominated their early-season meetings with the Saanich Tigers, head coach Lorne Winship knew that the Tigers would eventually pose a real challenge to his team.
That prediction came true last Wednesday when the Thunder fell to the Tigers 16-14 at Pearkes Arena.
"I thought there would be a time in the year when Saanich would come out with a good lineup and some vengeance and a point to prove, and they did," he said.
After beating Saanich 15-6, 17-9 and 15-2 in their previous lacrosse games, Cowichan didn’t seem prepared for the Tigers to come out strong.
"We didn’t play well in any aspect of the game," Winship admitted. "Offence, defence or goaltending."
The teams were tied 4-4 after the first period, but the Tigers took a 14-8 lead in the second. The Thunder managed to get within a goal at 15-14 with a couple of minutes left, but it was too little, too late.
"We made a lot of mental mistakes," Winship said. "We as coaches accept responsibility. The better team won on that night. A loss like that isn’t a bad thing in that we’ll be a lot more ready next time we play them."
Brandon (Skippy) Corby led the Thunder with four goals, while Mathieu Jung had three goals and five assists and James Taylor had three goals and two helpers.
Brody Black scored twice, Tyson Black had a goal and two assists, and Liam Clinging, Stephen Robertson and Kyle Page each had one assist.
Back at home last Sunday night, the Thunder trounced the Oceanside Sharks 20-2. Oceanside showed up with just 10 runners, and were down by a couple before the end of the second period.
"A few of their players didn’t seem to me like they wanted to play lacrosse other than teeing off on some of our guys," Winship said.
Colin Winship scored four times and added five helpers, while Taylor recorded four goals and two assists. Jung had three goals and nine assists, Clayton Vickers had three goals and one assist, Corby had two goals and three assists, and Corwin Trent scored twice and added one assist. Dallas (Moose) McLaughlin had a goal and one assist, Tyler Weidenfeld had one goal, Sean O’Neill had two assists, and Robertson and Wyatt Gibb each had one helper.
The Thunder will visit Oceanside this Saturday and Juan de Fuca the following Sunday before hosting JDF for their regular-season home finale on July 10.