The Nanaimo Timbermen scored 30 seconds into overtime, then added two more goals into an empty net in the final minute to defeat the Coquitlam Adanacs 11-8 Wednesday night (Aug. 10) at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
The win gives Nanaimo a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven semi-final of the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) playoffs.
After scoring the only goal of the first period, Coquitlam built their advantage to 5-3 in the second period before the Timbermen scored five straight to take a 7-5 lead midway through the final frame.
Reid Bowering of the Adanacs and Nanaimo's Jerrett Smith then exchanged goals before Adam Dickson and Clark Walter scored in the final two minutes with goaltender Christian Del Bianco on the bench for an extra attacker to send the game to the extra 10-minute period.
However, the home team’s late comeback seemed to take some of its steam as the Timbermen controlled the floor in overtime and outshot Coquitlam, 10-3
Bowering scored three times to lead the Adanacs’ offence, Walter had a pair and Brett McIntyre pitched in with four assists.
Del Bianco made 45 saves to earn the game’s second star.
Teoshontateh McComber had a hat trick for the Timbermen, while Zach Manns contributed two goals and four assists. Nanaimo netminder Devin Shanahan faced 52 shots from the purple and gold.
Game Four is scheduled for Saturday (Aug. 13) in Nanaimo. If Coquitlam wins to extend its first playoff appearance since 2013, the teams will return to Poirier for Game Five on Sunday (Aug. 14) at 7 p.m.
Del Bianco named MVP
While Christian Del Bianco has yet to taste playoff victory, his performance between the pipes that helped the Adanacs reach the post-season for the first time since 2013 has earned him honours as the WLA's most valuable player, the league announced Thursday morning (Aug. 11).
Del Bianco won a league-high 12 games in the regular season.
His 794 saves and .842 save percentage were also tops among all WLA goalies.