Pioneers renew rivalry with Nanaimo on Thursday

Ladner looks to complete perfect 4-game homestand against defending WCSLA champions

The Ladner Pioneers are making the most of their four-game homestand with a familiar nemesis in town on Thursday night to close it out.

The Pioneers will welcome the Nanaimo Timbermen to the Ladner Leisure Centre at 7:30 p.m. It will be the first meeting since the President’s Cup national championships last August when pivotal round-robin game win sent the Timbermen on their way to the gold medal game while Ladner bowed out of contention.

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The teams also squared off in a highly-entertaining West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association champion series that saw Nanaimo rally on their home floor to prevail.

The Timbermen have taken a step back this season and no longer feature National Lacrosse League/Senior “A” standouts Jeff Shattler, Cory Conway or Cayle Ratcliff. However, the Pioneers won’t need any motivation as they look to improve to 4-0-0 on the season.

“Given what happened the last time we saw them, I’m sure will be fired up,” said Pioneers head coach Ross Frehlick. “We just want to keep winning at home and if they even come over here missing a few players, so be it.”

Ladner made it two home floor victories over the Victoria Wolves in eight days with an 11-4 triumph on Sunday.

Mike Berekoff led the way with seven points, including a hat trick. Spencer Bromley added a goal and four assists as the hosts took control with five unanswered goals in the second period. Zack Wickett made 16 saves for the win with Ladner enjoying a 56-20 advantage in the shot department.

Three nights earlier, the Pioneers held off the Royal City Capitals 10-8.

Ladner opened up a 5-0 lead in the opening period but needed third period goals from Drew Miles and Berekoff for much-needed breathing room after the Capitals twice pulled within a goal.

Boxla Bits..

After hosting Nanaimo, the Pioneers will enjoy a week’s rest before playing three road games in five days, including a visit to Coquitlam May 26 to face the unbeaten (4-0) Adanacs.

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