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Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Bring on the Malahat Series as the Nanaimo Timbermen and the Victoria Shamrocks will begin Western Lacrosse Association post-season play on Wednesday. The Timbermen dispatched the Burnaby Lakers by the score of 13-5 Saturday night to determine the first-round combatants.

For now, though, the final regular season game for the second-place Victoria Shamrocks and the first-place New Westminster Salmonbellies takes place tonight at The Q Centre.

It is a meaningless game in terms of standings and playoff positioning but will be a final opportunity to prepare for the post-season. Expect lots of goals as both teams are offensively minded. They are the number one and number two teams in the Western Lacrosse Association for goals scored with 217 and 192, respectively. The top five in the league points race are all from New West and Victoria.

Logan Schuss of the Salmonbellies leads the way with 103 points, while Shamrocks’ Casey Jackson and Jesse King sit second and third with 94 and 93, respectively. Mitch Jones and Jordan McBride have 88 and 81 points for fourth and fifth positions.

Jackson leads the league in goals with 45. It is highly unlikely that Jones will pass Jackson – he will need seven more goals tonight to make that happen.

As for the post-season, the Nanaimo Timbermen are a strong team with a record of 10-7-1 that perhaps does not fairly represent their ability. However, they have a Jeckyll and Hyde Syndrome having been thoroughly beaten some night and winning by large margins others.

The Timbermen defeated the Shamrocks 12-9, then lost to the Shamrocks in Victoria 13-5, where the Shamrocks have gone 7-1 this season.

“We will take whoever we get,” said Coach Bob Heyes. “Although it would be nice for travel and expenses to play Nanaimo.”

The best-of-seven Shamrocks-versus-Timbermen opening series will have Game 2 on Friday at Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo. Game 3 will be back at The Q Centre on Sunday.

The other WLA playoff series will feature the New Westminster Salmonbellies against the fourth-place Maple Ridge Burrards.