Arizona looks to avenge loss to Rock

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

If revenge is indeed best served cold, Rock players had better dress warmly tonight.

The Arizona Sting arrives at the Air Canada Centre intent on avenging last season's 19-13 loss to the Rock in the Champion's Cup final.

"We've addressed some needs," Sting captain and Toronto native Peter Lough said. "We got bigger in the back with guys who can handle the ball and knock some bodies around.

"We welcome (the opening night test)."

"They're the team to beat, why not start at the top," added fifth-year forward Dan Dawson, the NLL's second-leading goal scorer last year.

The Sting is led by Dawson, as well as playoff scoring leader Craig Conn, Pat Maddalena, Jonas Derks, and former Buffalo Bandit Jason Crosbie.

The team is also expecting to get a big boost from impressive rookie Matt Brown, who scored 113 times in 56 games for the University of Denver.

"Matt Brown is going to be an excellent player for us," Sting head coach/general manager Bob Hamley said.

After an uninspiring 9-7 regular season finish in 2005, the Sting shocked the rest of the league by defeating Colorado and defending champion Calgary to earn a spot in the final.

This summer, Hamley, the NLL's coach and general manager of the year, improved the team's mediocre defence, adding Bruce Murray and Andrew Guindon, along with veteran goaltender Rob Blasdell, a former first-team all-star who will battle incumbent Mike Miron for playing time.

"We're very happy with what we have on paper," Hamley said.

Rock coach/GM Terry Sanderson said the two teams know each other well.

"Neither of us have a lot of secrets," he said.

"I'm sure Arizona will try to come out quick on us, but we will feed off of raising the (NLL championship) banner and should start the game with a source of energy ourselves."

ROCK NOTES

Rock forward Jason Henhawk is out with the flu. Sanderson will go with a somewhat tame lineup as bruisers Tim O'Brien and J.J. Dickie will not dress.


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