“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The #3 seed Nanaimo Timbermen took on the #2 seed Coquitlam Adanacs in Game 1 of the best-of-seven WLA semifinals in Coquitlam, BC. Both teams finished the regular season 12-6, with Coquitlam given the higher seed by virtue of their 2-1 head-to-head record against Nanaimo. In an interesting twist, the Adanacs played their final regular season game just three days ago, while Nanaimo hadn’t played since July 24. The time off did not appear to faze the Timbermen, as they never trailed in winning 9-6.

Nanaimo shows no signs of rust

Nanaimo struck first at 2:09 of the first period, with Ethan Ticehurst beating Adanacs goaltender Christian Del Bianco. John Hofseth (5:23) would equalize for the Adanacs. The Timbermen would finish the period on a three-goal run. Graden Soucy (8:07), Taggart Clark (10:08), and Jerrett Smith (16:51) would make it 4-1 after 20 minutes of play. Adam Wiedemann assisted on three of the four Timbermen goals, while netminder Devlin Shanahan turned aside 11 of 12 Coquitlam shots.

Coquitlam rallies in second period

Clark Walter found the back of the net at 5:49 of the second period to trim Nanaimo’s lead to two. Zach Manns pushed the lead back to three at the 10:08 mark. The Adanacs then cut the deficit to 5-4, courtesy of Ryan Johnson (13:37) and Walter’s second of the night nine seconds later. Jon Phillips (14:51) made it 6-4 before Brett McIntyre tallied a shorthanded goal for Coquitlam at 16:09. The second period would end with the Timbermen holding a slim 6-5 lead.

Nanaimo shuts down the Adanacs in the third

Nanaimo would outscore Coquitlam 3-1 in the final period, holding the Adanacs to just five total shots over the final 20 minutes. Phillips would tack on two more goals in succession (3:23; 5:43) to extend the Timbermen’s lead to 8-5. Walter secured his hat trick at 14:09 with a power play marker. Colton Lidstone (15:15) would respond to close out the three-goal victory. The Timbermen take a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 Sunday night at Frank Crane Arena.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star: Jon Phillips (Nanaimo) – 3g, 2a

2nd Star: Clark Walter (Coquitlam) – 3g, 2a

3rd Star: Adam Wiedemann (Nanaimo) – 3a

Other Stats of Note

Coquitlam went 1 for 6 on the power play

Shots: Nanaimo 52; Coquitlam 40

Tyler Garrison (Coquitlam): 11 of 16 on faceoffs

Zach Manns/Taggart Clark (Nanaimo): 1g, 3a each

Devlin Shanahan (Nanaimo): 34 saves, 0.850 sv %

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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.