The logjam that is the Western Lacrosse Association standings got a bit of clarity on Tuesday, but not enough to eliminate any options.
And for the Burnaby Lakers, a 9-7 home floor loss to the Nanaimo Timbermen could come back to bite them.
In a contest where they held a lead for a good portion of the first 40 minutes, Burnaby saw it slip away in a third period where the visiting T-men turned opportunists, striking three times and then shutting the door.
Goals by Cam Wengreniuk and Braylon Lumb early in the third period gave Nanaimo a small lead to play with. And while Laslo Henning cut the deficit to one just 25 seconds later, the Laker attack was held in check the rest of the way.
Mason Pynn tallied into the empty net in the final minute to dash Burnaby’s comeback hopes.
Charles Claxton turned aside 42 shots, while Burnaby’s Eric Penney made 43 saves.
The win gives Nanaimo the tiebreaker advantage, with two wins in three games, if both teams finish in a tie in the WLA standings.
The Lakers held the lead four times during the first 40 minutes, including in the first when Nick Jensen and Dane Stevens replied to make it 3-1 for the home team.
After Nanaimo tied it late in the first, Vinny Ricci netted his first as a Laker to make it 4-3.
Brodie Eastwood briefly made the T-men’s day by striking twice, but Robert Church countered with a pair of his own to put Burnaby back in front 6-5.
However, Jake Enns deadlocked the score with four minutes left in the period to set the table for Nanaimo’s third-period push.
The loss drops Burnaby into a three-way tie for second place, but at 8-6, the Victoria Shamrocks hold two games in hand.
Maple Ridge took over first place Tuesday by spanking the New West Salmonbellies 11-5. The Burrards sit two points ahead of the pack, at 9-5, while New West sits two points back of Burnaby in fifth spot with a 7-6 record.
The Lakers play host to Langley on Friday, 7:30 p.m. at the Copeland Arena.