Cowichan’s Brayden Zunti keeps control of the ball even as three Saanich players pin him to the boards during last Tuesday’s game. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan’s Brayden Zunti keeps control of the ball even as three Saanich players pin him to the boards during last Tuesday’s game. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Jr. B Thunder handed first loss

Discipline issues catch up to league leaders

The Cowichan Thunder’s worst tendencies finally caught up to them.

The Thunder’s lack of discipline was exposed as their Achilles heel as they suffered their first loss of the 2018 box lacrosse season, 14-10 at the hands of the Saanich Express at Kerry Park Arena.

Cowichan took 66 minutes in penalties to Saanich’s 33, and two Thunder players were tossed from the game in the second period.

Head coach Lorne Winship didn’t see it all as a negative, however.

“Sometimes a loss is a good thing,” he said. “When you’re undisciplined, you usually don’t win. It’s a good message to the team. Time to refocus and challenge some boys.”

Winship is confident the players who have displayed an occasional lack of discipline will respond.

“Our leaders will make them accountable,” he stated.

Cowichan led 4-3 after the first period, but Saanich pulled ahead 9-7 before the end of the second, then outscored Cowichan 5-3 in the third.

Winship allowed for the possibility that there was some letdown for the Thunder after they clinched first-place in the Pacific Northwest Junior Lacrosse League Junior B Tier 2 division in their previous game.

“Perhaps,” he said. “Right from our warm-up onward, we weren’t ready. I need to be responsible for that.”

Colin Winship and Brayden Zunti had three goals and two assists each, Tyson Black added two goals and two assists, Brandon Corby and Mathieu Jung had a goal and three assists each, and Olin Webb registered a single assist.

Now with a record of 11 wins, one loss and two ties, the Thunder will host the Westshore Bears at Kerry Park on July 7, then play their regular-season finale on the road against the Campbell River Ravens on July 8.