Time for Burnaby to get back to winning


Does Burnaby have its timing right?


The Burnaby Lakers got their timing wrong to start what could be a pivotal week in the Western Lacrosse Association season.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200"]_MG_1934 Dane Stevens led the Lakers with one goal and three assists. Garrett James photo[/caption]

The senior A Lakers dropped a 9-7 decision at home on Tuesday in the first of three meetings with the Nanaimo Timbermen, a club they very much needed to keep out of the run for a playoff spot.

Now with just seven games left in its regular season schedule, Burnaby must hope those remaining contests are lucky ones.

The Lakers are still well within striking distance of the post season, but the two teams they currently chase for third place, Victoria and Coquitlam, have games in hand over their Burnaby counterpart.

That makes the next two weeks important ones for the Lakers.

On Tuesday, Burnaby paid the price with six starters out of the lineup and leading the T-Men heading into the third period, giving up five goals in the remaining 20 minutes to fall to 5-5-1.

“We've been playing pretty well lately and I thought this was a good game to extend our unbeaten streak, but you could tell we were missing some of our regular players,” said Burnaby's game star Chris Manwaring.

But with a key season-series match up this Friday against the first-place New Westminster Salmonbellies at the Copeland centre and a rematch in Nanaimo on Sunday, Burnaby needs all hands on deck to prevent another misstep on its way to the post season.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200"]_MG_2003 Chris Manwaring was the second star in Burnaby's 9-7 loss to Nanaimo on Tuesday. Garrett James photo[/caption]

Against the Timbermen, Burnaby out shot Nanaimo 51-44 despite leading for less than five minutes in total in a game that see-sawed back and forth in the opening two periods.

Goal production continues to be a concern for the Green and White with just five runners at the 20-point or more mark at this point in the season.

Robert Church is sixth overall in league scoring and currently leads the club with 15 goals and 32 total points. Scott Jones is next with 20 assists and 31 points for the Lakers.

Zac Boychuk had an OK game in goal against Nanaimo, stopping 35 shots, and continues his lead atop the WLA with a .612 goals against average and a 0.868 save percentage.

But Burnaby is still struggling to put together all the pieces in the remaining third of the season.

“If (Tuesday) doesn't motivate us to go over to the Island and win a big game, I don't know what,” Manwaring said, referring to Sunday's rematch in Nanaimo.

But first up is New Westminster in the showcase game of the Jack Crosby Novice All-Star tournament this Friday. Game time is 7:45 p.m.