“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports
The third place Coquitlam Adanacs hosted the first place Nanaimo Timbermen at the Poirier Centre in Coquitlam in a Saturday night WLA rubber match. Each team had won a previous contest on their home floor earlier in the season. However, this game had larger implications. A win for the Adanacs would put them in a tie for first place with Nanaimo in the win column, with two games in hand.
Despite missing several key players and being outshot 61-46, the Adanacs got big performances from goalie Christian Del Bianco and forward Clark Walter in an 11-8 win. Coquitlam improves to 9-4 on the season, while Nanaimo drops to 9-6.
Adanacs Lead After First Period
Coquitlam outshot Nanaimo 15-12 in the first period, but it was the Timbermen who struck first. Hiana (Jerome) Thompson got the scoring started at 6:56, followed by Taggart Clark (1g, 3a) at 7:32 to give Nanaimo an early 2-0 lead. Coquitlam responded with four goals over the next three minutes. Clark Walter (4g, 1a; 9:17) lit the lamp on a power play as the Timbermen got into penalty trouble through the middle of the period. Erik Turner evened the score at 10:29 before Walter’s second goal (10:52) gave Coquitlam the lead.
Riley Loewen (12:23; power play) made it 4-2 in favor of the Adanacs, but the Timbermen would strike back with a quick pair of goals. Thompson’s second (13:49) and Zach Manns (1g, 3a; 14:09) 20 seconds later leveled the game at 4-4. Reid Bowering would quickly restore a Coquitlam lead, scoring off the next faceoff (14:21) to make it 5-4 after 20 minutes of play. The nine-goal period was rather surprising, given that the previous matchups between these two teams ended with final scores of 6-4 and 9-5.
Adanacs Slowly Pull Away
Dylan Watson (5:21 second period) extended Coquitlam’s lead to two. Colton Lidstone (2g, 1a; 12:57; power play) responded for the Timbermen to cut the lead to one. Turner’s second goal of the game (14:22) restored the two-goal edge, but Coady Adamson (15:57) closed the gap to one for Nanaimo. Walter (18:53) notched his hat trick to put Coquitlam up 8-6 and start a four-goal run that continued into the third period. Nanaimo outshot Coquitlam 25-17 in the second period.
Walter would add his fourth of the night at 9:57. Brett Draper followed with a pair of goals (11:25; 13:14) to extend the Adanacs’ lead to 11-6 with just under 7 minutes left in the game. Nanaimo, despite outshooting Coquitlam 24-14 in the third period, could only manage two late goals. Thompson would score his hat trick on a power play at 18:05, while Lidstone added his second with 17 seconds left on the clock. Adanacs goalie Christian Del Bianco made several highlight-reel saves in the final frame, keeping the Timbermen from mounting any sort of rally.
Three Stars of the Game
- 1st Star: Clark Walter
- 2nd Star: Brett Draper (2g)
- 3rd Star: Christian Del Bianco (53 saves; 0.869 sv %)
Other Stats of Note
- Hiana (Jerome) Thompson (Nanaimo): 3g, 2a
- Tyler Garrison (Coquitlam): 12 of 18 on faceoffs
- Power Play: Nanaimo 2 of 2; Coquitlam 2 of 3
Coquitlam hosts Maple Ridge on Wednesday 7/20, then travels to Victoria on Friday 7/22 for a crucial rubber match against the Shamrocks. Nanaimo plays at Burnaby on Tuesday 7/19, before a doubleheader homestand (vs. Victoria Saturday 7/23; vs. Maple Ridge Sunday 7/24) to finish their regular season.
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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.