Monday’s junior B lacrosse game between the Cowichan Valley Thunder and Nanaimo Timbermen devolved into something that head coach Neil Gailey would not consider representative of the best the sport has to offer.
"If Nanaimo had come to play lacrosse, we would have had a good game and a good night," said Gailey, whose team prevailed 19-8 over the visiting T-Men at The Stick. "But they chose to play dirty, and the officials were not calling it equal at the start of the game."
The T-Men brought just 12 runners down for the game, but had that number cut in half by the time the final buzzer sounded, due to a host of misconducts. For the most part, the Cowichan players managed to avoid falling into their trap.
It was only late in the first period, after the Nanaimo players got away with several infractions, that the Thunder responded in kind. "We were getting run over and over again, and we started to retaliate," Gailey acknowledged.
When the dust settled on the entire game, Nanaimo had accumulated 73 minutes in penalties to Cowichan’s 44.
Adam Golia finished his first home game with the junior B team with five goals and two assists, while Graham Winship had six goals and two helpers. Also getting on the scoresheet were Tyson Black with two goals and four assists, Trevor Philp with two goals and two assists, Jamie Jensen and Joey Robb with two goals each, Brandon Clark with one goal, and Curt Gailey with five assists before he was tossed for fighting late in the second.
The Cowichan coaches were again impressed with the play of the intermediate B call-ups, including Black, Mitchell Page, Steven Robertson and Brandon Brown, who had two assists.
"The intermediate kids who got called up played awesome," Gailey said. "There was tons of flow there."
Monday’s game came a day after the Thunder suffered their first loss of the season, an 8-4 defeat by the Saanich Tigers.
"Their goalie, Tanner Hodgson, stood on his head," Gailey said. "They shut us down; we couldn’t score."
Cowichan had just 13 runners available on Sunday, including four inter B call-ups. Graham Winship led the way with two goals, while Black and Colin Winship had a goal and an assist each. Jensen, Clark and Kelvin Philp each had one assist.
Cowichan will play Saanich again this Sunday at Archie Browning Arena beginning at 2:30 p.m.