Thunder down Timbermen in game one

by Gary Ahuja

Keegan Bell and the Langley Thunder defence held the Nanaimo Timbermen to four goals in a 12-4 game one victory in the WLA Finals on Friday night at Langley Events Centre. Ryan Molag LEC photo

Tied at four just past the midway point of the game, the Langley Thunder struck for the final eight goals, shutting down the Nanaimo Timbermen 12-4 in game one of the Western Lacrosse Association Finals.

The teams kicked off the championship series on Friday night at Langley Events Centre.

Nanaimo took their one and only lead of the game as Adam Wiedemann struck on the game’s first shot 38 seconds in. But Langley had a quick response as Connor Robinson, Dylan Kinnear and Curtis Dickson found the back of the net on successive shots for a 3-1 lead. An Erik Maas power-play goal made the score 4-1 less than eight minutes in and the score remained that way until Jon Phillips’ scored on a two-man advantage with a second to play and then added goals 91 seconds apart to pull the visitors even.

But from that point on, Frank Scigliano and the defence shut the door as the Timbermen were blanked for the remaining 27:25. With Nanaimo being denied at every opportunity, Dickson scored twice before the second period let out for a 6-4 advantage.

Keegan Bell, Noah Armitage, Matt Abbott, Chase Scanlan, Robinson and Dickson – with his fourth – added third-period goals.

Scigliano finished with 59 saves as the Thunder were outshot 65-52.

“It is always nice having a guy like Frank between the pipes, it makes the offence’s job really easy to win games,” said Thunder captain Connor Robinson, the game’s first star following a two-goal, eight-point performance.

Along with Robinson’s big game, Dickson (four goals, one assist) Kinnear (one goal, three assists) and Scanlan (one goal, three assists) all had four or more points. But Robinson said it was the defence that fired the rest of the team up.

“The defence stepped up big, they were blocking shots, and nothing fires up an offence more than our D guys getting in front of, giving up their bodies,” he said.

“I think that was probably our most physical game all year. We have been trying to get out on their shooters and press out and I think we executed that well today,” said Tyler Sceviour.  “And credit to Frankie for coming up with the big saves.”

Phillips led the Timbermen with a hat trick while Colton Lidstone (two assists) and Wiedemann (one goal, one assist) had multi-point games. Devlin Shanahan stopped 40 of 50 shots.

Game two of the series goes Sunday (August 21) at Nanaimo’s Frank Crane Arena before the teams return to Langley Events Centre for game three on Tuesday (August 23). Both games begin at 7:00pm.

Curtis Dickson led the Thunder with four goals in game one. Ryan Molag LEC photo