The Cowichan Valley Thunder made a statement with two victories last weekend as they returned to action after a three-year absence from intermediate B lacrosse.
The Thunder won a thrilling home-opener 10-9 over the Saanich Tigers on Friday night, then crushed Juan de Fuca 16-4 at the Q Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Cowichan survived some major momentum changes on Friday. Tied 2-2 after one period, the Thunder fell behind 5-2, only to score nine straight goals to pull ahead 9-5. The Tigers clawed their way back to tie it, but with less than five seconds remaining in regulation, Cowichan defender Steven Robertson bolted down the floor, took an outlet pass from goalie Kain Stewart, and buried the ball in the Saanich net.
"That was probably the first time Steven was up the floor on offence all game," head coach Lorne Winship noted.
Winship expects to have more battles with the Tigers as the season continues.
"It was a really good game," he said.
"We’ll probably have good games against them all year."
Along with Robertson’s game-winner, the Thunder got hat tricks from Brandon Corby and Colin Winship, who also chipped in with three assists. Tyson Black had two goals and six helpers, and Mitchell Page rounded out the scoring. Corwin Trent contributed three assists.
Adam Golia made his season debut on Sunday and led the Cowichan offence with five goals and one assist in the harpooning of the JDF Whalers. Also making the scoresheet were Black with three goals and three assists, Corby with a goal and four helpers, Winship and Page with a goal and two assists each, Trent with two goals, Robertson with one goal, and Liam Clinging with two goals and an assist.
The Whalers racked up 48 minutes in penalties, while the Thunder compiled just six.
"That’s the epitome of our team," coach Winship said. "We can hurt other teams if we’re disciplined."
The intermediate Thunder will head to Campbell River this Thursday and Saanich next Thursday, playing their next home date on May 16.