T-Men set to battle ‘Bellies in Cowichan

Senior A lacrosse will make a stop in the Cowichan Valley this Saturday as the Nanaimo Timbermen bring their quest for a spot in the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs to the Island Savings Centre.

Still in a dogfight for a postseason berth, the T-Men will square off with the New Westminster Salmonbellies in a regularseason game at 6:45 p.m. Taking the floor for the T-Men will be Cowichan Valley Lacrosse Association product Tyson Roe, who has stepped up to the senior club after spending the last few years with the junior A T-Men.

Roe has scored twice and added five assists in 13 games as a rookie, spending 10 minutes in the penalty box, and he’s excited about the opportunity to play in front of a hometown crowd.

"Playing these games in other cities is a good way to try and grow the game, so it will be good for some of Cowichan’s minor lacrosse teams to come out and watch a game," Roe said.

While not all has gone well for the TMen as they’ve collected just four wins in 14 games, the team knows it’s going in the right direction.

"Record-wise, the season obviously hasn’t gone the way we wanted to it to, but we’ve lost some close games along the way," Roe said.

Roe got his first taste of senior A action as a junior call-up last season, but it has

still been something of an adjustment playing in the WLA full-time.

"Playing five games for the senior A team last year I came into this year kind of knowing what to expect, but the game is a lot faster and tougher at this level," he said. "You can’t take a single shift off or get caught cheating, because the other team will take advantage."

Roe is the lone CVLA product on the T-Men roster, but several others call the Cowichan Valley home, including brothers Myles and Blake Kenny of Shawnigan Lake, and Hugh Weir of Chemainus. Other notable names on the team include National Lacrosse League players Cody Bremner of the Vancouver Stealth and goalie Zak Boychuk, who most recently played for the Toronto Rock.

Nanaimo sits seventh in the WLA standings with nine points, three back of the Langley Thunder, who currently hold the last playoff spot. The Salmonbellies sit fifth with 10 points.

The T-Men lost 12-9 to the Salmonbellies in New Westminster last Thursday, but bounced back with an 11-9 win over the Coquitlam Adanacs on Saturday.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $8 for kids 12 and under. All registered CVLA players get in for free. A list of players will be at the pass door.