The Burnaby Lakers traveled to Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo to face the Timbermen in the first game of a Week 3 double-road doubleheader. Burnaby was still in search of their first win of the 2023 season. On the other hand, Nanaimo was looking to get back above .500 and keep pace with Langley, Victoria, and New Westminster. Forward Jacob Dunbar had yet another stellar game for Burnaby (4g, 1a). However, a late surge by Nanaimo lifted them to an 11-9 win. The Timbermen improve to 3-2, remaining just a half game behind first place. They also have a doubleheader this weekend, as they host the Coquitlam Adanacs Saturday night. Meanwhile, Burnaby falls to 0-4; they try again to get into the win column Sunday at Maple Ridge.

Dunbar keeps Burnaby in front

The teams traded goals throughout the first period, with Dunbar kicking things off at the 7:11 mark. Jerrett Smith equalized for the Timbermen just 23 seconds later. Jacob Dowell (8:17) put Burnaby up 2-1, but Zach Manns (12:20) responded for Nanaimo. Dunbar’s second (14:01) was matched by another from Manns (15:44), before a power play goal from Erik Maas (16:58) gave the Lakers a 4-3 lead after one period.

The scoring trend continued in the second period. Taggart Clark’s power play goal (5:14) leveled the game at 4-4. Toron Eccleston, fresh off an NCAA Division II Championship with Lenoir-Rhyne, put the Lakers up 5-4 with his first goal of the WLA season (12:10). Kyle Playsted (13:58) tied the game again at 5-5, but Dunbar secured his hat trick (14:36) to keep Burnaby in front 6-5 at the second intermission.

Late surge lifts Nanaimo to win

It didn’t take long for Nanaimo to square the game again, with Manns’ hat trick goal (0:37) making it 6-6. Dunbar’s fourth (2:01 power play) put Burnaby up 7-6. Then the Timbermen finally broke the alternating scoring with the first multi-goal run of the game. Markers from Jon Phillips (4:48) and Evan Soucy (6:20) gave Nanaimo their first lead of the game, 8-7. Burnaby quickly responded with their own run. Eccleston’s second (7:08) and a goal from another Lenoir-Rhyne teammate, Myles Moffat (7:34) put the Lakers up 9-8.

Nanaimo answered with a late surge in the last half of the third period. Clark’s second (11:19 power play) knotted the game at 9-9, then Phillips followed with his second (12:09) to put the Timbermen up by one. Tyson Roe added an insurance goal at 19:31 as Burnaby could not respond.

Other Stats of Note

Manns (3g, 4a) earned 1st Star of the Game honors. Dunbar was named 2nd Star, and Clark (2g, 1a) took home 3rd Star of the Game

Nanaimo held a 57-43 advantage in shots

A brawl between Dowell and Kris Veltman of the Timbermen near the end of the second period resulted in four separate 10-minute game misconduct penalties. The two teams combined for a whopping 78 PIM total.

Goaltender Devlin Shanahan made 34 saves for Nanaimo in his first 2023 WLA start after winning the NLL Cup with Buffalo last week.

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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.