Nanaimo’s Acme Painting Senior B Timbermen are headed to the President’s Cup. After finishing their regular season tied for first place in the West Coast Senior B Lacrosse Association, with a record of 11-3 the T-men were eventually swept by the Tri-City Bandits in the second round of the playoffs. While the Bandits would go on to win the WCSLA title, it is the Timbermen who will make the journey to Kahnawake, Quebec and represent BC this year at the President’s Cup.
“The two teams in the finals decided not to go” says Timbermen General Manager Shawn Swanson. A somewhat surprising turn of events that opened the door for the T-men to step up and compete. It may have been the travel schedule or it may have been the cost that dissuaded the other teams from competing in this years national tournament, the cost of the trip for the Timbermen is no cheap ticket at $35,000.
But after some donations by local businesses, a car wash, a beer and burger night, auctions and contributions by the players and coaches themselves the Timbermen have the financial side of things taken care of and are ready to concentrate on playing lacrosse at a national level.
When asked what the Timbermen need to do to be successful at this years President’s Cup, a tournament that will see the T-men facing off against six other top teams from all over the country, Swanson says “we just need to play our game, we’ve picked up a few players, we just have to play good defence.”
Defence has been a key factor to the Timbermen’s success all year, and defencemen Kyle Couling was even awarded the WCSLA’s defensive player of the year award this season.
Still, with the Timbermen set to play seven games in seven days in the round robin format tournament just being strong defensively may not be enough to see the T-men hoist the Cup. In order to win the President’s Cup for the first time since 1969 Nanaimo will need to light up their opposition offensively as well, GM Swanson hopes the teams depth will help them in this task.
“We’re very deep” Swanson says, “just about every player can play every position, which is good for a tournament like this.”
The Timbermen will also be hoping the recent additions of Dave Yee and John Canill of the Ladneer Pioneers as well as Curtis Sim from the Tri-City Bandits to their roster will increase the depth on their bench even further and give them a stronger chance of being successful on the big stage.
When asked what he expects from the competition Swanson admits that for the most part teams are going into this tournament blind. “The first 10 minutes of each game is a big eye opener” Swanson says. The Timbermen can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that their competition will similarly know little about them and their own style of play prior to the tournament.
Nanaimo’s Timbermen have a rich history of competing at the President’s Cup. Their most recent trips to the tournament have taken place in 2002 and 2003 however Nanaimo has been represented in the tournament in every decade it has taken place. “We actually have a player on the team and a member of the coaching staff whose families have participated in every single President’s Cup” Swanson says. However with Nanaimo’s only President’s Cup wins coming in 1966 and 1969 it would seem that the Timbermen are long overdue for a win on the national level.
Lacrosse fans can follow the Timbermen’s quest for the cup online at www.presidentscup-2013.com and follow the team on Facebook by searching “ACME Painting Sr.B Timbermen”.