Riggers wary of Conn job

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

Arizona Sting players are a Conn-fident bunch.

They eliminated the favoured Colorado Mammoth in the National Lacrosse League's West Division semifinal thanks, in large part, to five goals and eight points from sophomore standout Craig Conn.

That victory propelled them to the West final, where they'll face the Calgary Roughnecks tonight at the 'Dome (8 p.m., Ch. 30).

Conn -- who scored 19 goals and 39 points last year garnering rookie of the year consideration -- will be a key tonight if the Sting is to beat the Riggers and advance to the championship final.

You don't have to remind Calgary head coach Chris Hall of that.

"He's a very dangerous player," said Hall.

"When they got him in the trade from Minnesota at the deadline, I cringed a bit knowing we would be seeing a lot more of him.

"He's a big-game player."

Conn, a product of the vaunted St. Catharine's, Ont., lacrosse factory, was drafted fourth overall by the defunct Vancouver Ravens in 2003 and selected by the expansion Minnesota Swarm in the 2004 Ravens' dispersal draft.

The Swarm decided to deal Conn at the March trade deadline. The Roughnecks and Sting made serious pitches for the offensive standout, who also takes faceoffs.

After the Sting landed him, Conn got off to a slow start with his new team, notching only six goals and five helpers in five games to close out the regular season.

In the win over the Mammoth, he exploded, scoring his five goals on six shots.

"It was a big game," said the 22-year-old Conn, soft spoken despite his rambunctous play.

"I wanted to contribute here and play my role and scoring is part of my role. I'm glad I could help beat Colorado. It was a big win for this team."

Sting coach Bob Hamley praised his club's young addition.

"That's why we got him," said Hamley. "He's a winner. He's won everywhere he's been. He's already rubbed off on us."


Photos