The junior B Cowichan Valley Thunder continued their mid-season turnaround last week with wins over the Westshore Bears and Nanaimo Timbermen. The lacrosse team now has a season-best streak of three wins in a row.
Cowichan overcame yet another slow start last Thursday to edge the Bears 10-9 at the Q Centre, the first time this season they have beaten the Westshore squad.
“It was just a good game: spirited, not a lot of penalties,” Cowichan head coach Lorne Winship said.
The Thunder found themselves trailing 4-2 at the end of the first period, after one of the bad opening frames that have plagued the team all season. They came out hard in the second and made it 8-8 after 40 minutes. Cowichan pulled ahead 10-8 in the third before the Bears scored a late one to make it a one-goal game.
Almost everything went well for the Thunder. The only downside was losing Colin Winship, for a few games, at least, to a hyperextended elbow.
Tyson Black scored three goals and added three assists, Graham Winship had three goals and two helpers, and Colin Winship scored one and set up three others. Midget call-up Brody Black had two goals and one helper, Steven Robertson had one of each, and Liam Clinging, Taylor Martin and Mitch Page had one assist apiece. Pollo Claxton picked up the win in goal.
At home against Nanaimo on Saturday, the Thunder found themselves short a few players, and filled out the roster with a variety of call-ups. From the intermediate A ranks, they summoned Mathieu Jung and Parker Teufel from the Nanaimo Timbermen and Brayden Zunti from the Port Coquitlam Saints — all Cowichan Valley products — who had squared off in an intermediate A game earlier that day. Hunter Hieta and Kurtis Smith were brought in from the Cowichan Valley midget A team, and goalie Claxton dressed as a runner, while backup Kevin Smith stepped between the pipes for his first start of the season. It was the first time Claxton had played out of net since he played at the tyke level.
“I always try to work hard at filling out the roster, for a number of different reasons,” Winship said. “Too many things can happen in a senior game without a full roster. It makes a big difference.”
Martin led the attack in the 17-5 victory with five goals and one assist, while Graham Winship scored four times and added three helpers and Tyson Black had a hat trick and two assists. Zunti finished with a goal and five assists, and Jung had eight assists. Hieta, Jaeden Ashbee, Kris Mousseau and Jacob Taylor had single goals, and Clinging added an assist.
The Thunder played at home against the Saanich Tigers on Tuesday and will head to Nanaimo on Wednesday to face the Timbermen again.
The team’s next home game is on July 5.