Short on players, with half of their 14 runners called up from the intermediate B ranks, the Cowichan Valley Thunder suffered a 16-11 loss to the Saanich Tigers in a Pacific Northwest Junior B Lacrosse League game at the Island Savings Centre last Friday.
The Cowichan players had no shortage of heart, but couldn’t keep up with the Tigers in other areas.
"I thought our effort was really good, but we were outmatched in size and age," coach Lorne Winship said.
Graham Winship had two goals and five assists for the Thunder, Tyson Black had two goals and three assists, and Chance Koughan scored twice. Luke Anderson and Jamie Jensen finished with one goal and two assists apiece, Joey Robb and Kelvin Philp each had a goal and an assist, Alex Hayton scored once, and Colin Winship, Jimmy Johnnie and Bryson Weberg all had single assists.
The intermediate B Thunder split their two games over the last week, losing 9-7 to Saanich last Thursday and beating Juan de Fuca 14-5 on Wednesday night.
"It was a funny game," coach Winship said of the loss to Saanich. "We just didn’t have our best effort."
Black scored three times in the defeat, Colin Winship had a goal and five assists, and Brandon Corby had a goal and one helper. Steven Robertson and Corwin Trent scored singles, Mitch Page had two assists and Johnnie added one.
A slow start had the team trailing JDF 3-1 after the first period on Wednesday, but a goalie switch and a pep talk helped them reverse their fortunes. The team rallied to lead 9-5 after the second period and cruised through the third.
"We definitely got our act together in the second period," Winship said.
Black finished the night with five goals and one assist, Colin Winship had three goals and five assists, and Mat Jung collected three goals and two assists. Cowichan also got single goals from Trent and James Taylor, while Page had three assists, and Robertson and Kaine Dreaver each had one assist. Dallas McLaughlin played strong in net down the stretch.
The intermediates have two games left, including a huge home date against Saanich at 7:45 p.m. on June 27 that will likely determine first place in the league. The juniors’ next home game is on June 28 at 4 p.m. Both teams are holding a fundraiser this Saturday at the Cobblestone Pub beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12.