Thunder, Timbermen set for rematch at LEC

by Gary Ahuja

It took some late-game heroics to earn the victory in Nanaimo on Saturday night and the Langley Thunder know they will be in for another tough challenge as this time they host the visiting Timbermen to wrap up the home-and-home series between the Western Lacrosse Association rivals.

In a game dominated by the power plays – each team scored five times with the man advantage – it was a short-handed marker from Curtis Dickson which proved to be the difference as Langley edged Nanaimo 10-9 at Frank Crane Arena on Saturday night.

The win improved Langley to 2-1 while Nanaimo sits at 2-3, heading into the rematch on June 15 (7:00pm) at Langley Events Centre.

One of the keys to the game will be keeping the talented Nanaimo left-side duo of Jon Phillips and Zach Manns in check. Phillips scored four times against Langley and had five points, giving him a team-leading eight goals and 20 points in five games. Manns played set-up man in the game with five assists to go along with a goal. In just two games this season, Manns has registered five goals and 11 points.

For Langley, Dickson leads the team in points with 14 through three games while Chase Scanlan is tops among Thunder players in goals, scoring four times on Saturday to give him 11 goals in three games, which is tied for fourth in the league, although he has played less games than those ahead of him. Rounding out the Langley top four in scoring are Dane Dobbie (five goals, five assists) and Robert Church (five goals, three assists) who have both played two games.

The stacked Thunder offence is likely to face a different goaltender as Nanaimo’s Charles Claxton served as the back-up in the first meeting. Claxton leads all WLA goalies with a 7.79 goals against average and is second with an .811 save percentage.

Saturday’s game also marked the Thunder debuts of goaltender Frank Scigliano – who was acquired back in 2020 – and Thomas Vaesen, the team’s top draft pick in 2021.

Scigliano – the WLA’s top goalie in 2019 – delivered with a 36-save performance while Vaesen had a pair of assists. Vaesen is just returning from injury. Langley also welcomed some veteran leadership as NLL veteran Jarrett Toll debuted for Langley in Saturday’s game.

Wednesday’s game against Nanaimo kicks off a busy week for the Thunder as it is the first of four games in an eight-day stretch which includes back-to-back road games on June 18 (Coquitlam) and June 19 (Victoria) against the top two teams in the WLA standings. They finish off with a home game at Langley Events Centre on June 22 (7:30pm) against the New Westminster Salmonbellies.

For tickets to either Thunder home game, click here.