The Maple Ridge Burrards hosted the Nanaimo Timbermen at Cam Neely Arena on Sunday evening in the final game of Week 4 in the WLA. After winning their first two games, the Burrards have gone 0-3-1, grinding out a tie with Victoria on Friday thanks to some late heroics. The Timbermen were coming off two losses earlier in the week, and have shown stretches of uneven play. Although it’s only Week 4, Nanaimo was already playing their ninth game (out of 18) of a front-loaded schedule. No other team had played more than six games to this point. Zach Manns scored a hat trick in the final period to turn a narrow lead after 40 minutes into an 11-8 win for the Timbermen.

Burrards take early leads in first and second periods

Nathan Grenon opened the scoring 59 seconds into the game, giving Nanaimo a 1-0 lead. Ryan Jones (4:21) and Garret Winter (6:21 power play) responded to give the Burrards a 2-1 lead. The Timbermen retook the lead with Taggart Clark (12:31 power play) and Kyle Playsted (17:44) finding the back of the net as Maple Ridge got into penalty trouble near the end of the first period.

The Burrards opened the second period with a three-goal run. Winter’s second goal (1:10), followed by Dylan McIntosh (2:07) and Brett Kujala (3:40) put Maple Ridge back in front 5-3. Nanaimo then went on their own three-goal run. Jon Phillips (5:09), Ryan Sheridan (10:52), and Grenon’s second (17:41) restored a 6-5 lead for the Timbermen. Mitch McDole tied it at 18:38, but Maple Ridge again got into penalty trouble near the end of the period. Clark capitalized, scoring his second on a power play (19:28) to make it 7-6 Nanaimo heading into the final frame.

Manns scores hat trick in third to defeat Burrards

The third period was quiet until the 10th minute, when Zach Manns went back-to-back (9:09 power play; 9:31) to extend Nanaimo’s lead to three. Jones scored his second (13:53) to end the run and pull Maple Ridge within two. However, Manns answered again with his hat trick goal (14:39). A second goal from McIntosh (16:22) cut the deficit to two, but the Burrards could get no closer. Playsted added his second goal for insurance at 17:36 to close the scoring.

Nanaimo improves to 5-4 with the win, while Maple Ridge falls to 2-4-1 on the year. Manns (3g, 4a) was named 1st Star of the Game. Jones (2g, 2a) took home 2nd Star honors for the Burrards, and Phillips (1g, 4a) earned 3rd Star of the Game. Shots were even at 50 for each team. Justin Geddie made 42 saves for the Timbermen, outdueling Joel Watson, who turned aside 39 shots in the loss. Maple Ridge plays at Langley on Wednesday, then hosts winless Coquitlam on Sunday. Nanaimo is off until Sunday, when they host the Burnaby Lakers.

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“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 covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.