Sting comin' north

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:21 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks now know who their dance partner will be. The second-seeded Arizona Sting beat the third-seeded Colorado Mammoth 16-13 in the National Lacrosse League West Division semifinal in Glendale, Ariz., last night, earning a trip to the 'Dome next Saturday for the West final.

The Riggers, who finished the season 10-6, had a first-round bye after finishing atop the West during the regular season.

Calgary won the season series against the Sting 2-1, going 2-0 at the 'Dome. In the last meeting between the teams, the Roughnecks hammered the Sting 17-10 April 3 in one of Calgary's best games of the season.

Calgary head coach Chris Hall, who led the Riggers to an NLL championship last season, said his team's success against the Sting this season at the 'Dome has little bearing in the playoffs.

"It's a different kettle of fish now," said Hall. "That's the past. It means nothing now."

Colorado led 7-3 after the first quarter last night but Arizona battled back and Dan Dawson scored twice late in the fourth quarter to break a 13-13 tie.

Dawson finished the night with four goals and six points, while sophomore standout Craig Conn led Arizona with five goals.

Hall said containing that pair will be a top priority for his club.

"Craig Conn is a big-game player and Dan Dawson is very dangerous," said Hall. "They have a very formidable offence. They're a good lacrosse team and they have some big-time firepower."

Hall said the Sting have a lot of character as well, evidenced by the fact they didn't get down when the Mammoth built up a big early lead.

"Even if you get them down, they battle back," said Hall. "They never play like they're out of it. They can come back at any time and you have to respect that when you play them."

Last night's Mammoth defeat marked the final game for lacrosse legend Gary Gait, the NLL's all-time leading scorer and the most name in the game.

Gary's twin brother Paul had come out of retirement to finish the season and try to win one more championship with Gary.

The Gait brothers were held to two goals -- one each -- in the loss.


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