Snider fights temptation

TY PILSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Geoff Snider doesn't lose many fights and that's a problem for him right now.

The Calgary native seems stuck in a no-win situation with some of the National Lacrosse League's more hardcore fans when it comes to how often he should drop the gloves.

Snider was just named the NLL's rookie of the month, he's third among defensive players in scoring with six goals and 13 points in five games and has won an incredible 71% of his faceoffs.

Still, all some folks want to talk about is his pugilistic prowess and wax on prior to every game he plays about potential heavyweight scraps.

"It's a very blue-collar sport and it embraces that combativeness and that rough stuff," said the 25-year-old Snider, whose Philadelphia Wings (3-2) visit the 'Dome Saturday night to take on his hometown Roughnecks (4-1).

"That gets some people fired up. They want to see that type of stuff."

Snider, who attended the University of Denver on a field lacrosse scholarship, has become one of the top two medium players in the game (box and field lacrosse). He was named the tournament MVP after helping Canada win the world field lacrosse championship this summer in London, Ont.

But despite being one of the precious few all-around threats in the NLL who can take faceoffs, play defence, transition and offence, the talk around Snider most often involves fisticuffs.

Two weeks ago when the Wings hosted the Toronto Rock, a Toronto press release even speculated about a potential fight between Snider, the fourth-overall pick in the '06 draft, and reigning NLL champ Tim O'Brien and billed it as what could be 'the biggest lacrosse fight in NLL history.'

Instead of swapping knuckles with O'Brien, Snider stuck to playing lacrosse and scored two fourth-quarter goals to tie the game and then win it 10-9.

The buzz this week on message boards has been about potential Snider scraps with Roughnecks tough guys Ryan McNish, Jeff Moleski or Andy Ogilvie.

Snider, who lives in Denver and works in commercial real estate, admits he's torn.

He loves to fight but he loves to play lacrosse more.

"I think teams look to take advantage of it sometimes, like trading a player," said Snider. "There are guys whose role it is to try and come get me off the floor. I'm there to win a game, I'm not there to impress fans by fighting and sitting in the box and hurting my team.

"I do enjoy (fighting). Selfishly it's fun. But it's not worth me sitting in the box just to do it whenever I want. I'm not out there to fight, I'm out there to play lacrosse."

At 5-ft. 10-in. and 200 lb., Snider is far from imposing. But what he lacks in size he makes up for in power.

In the Wings' first game of the season, Philly played the Edmonton Rush. Rush tough guy Daryl Welsh, a 6-ft. 5-in., 245-lb. monster, came calling for a dance and Snider obliged. Before long, Snider started landing bombs on Welsh, who went down covered in blood and left the game with a concussion.

He has yet to play again this season.

The next day that fight popped up on YouTube, joining a growing collection of Snider scraps on the website.

"I hadn't fought in a long time but I assumed he would be coming for me and I was prepared," said Snider.

"Credit to Daryl. He did his job. The guy took a beating but he got me off the floor.

"It was a good trade for them. He did his job and I'm sure they were glad I was sitting in the box for five minutes."

Warming the sin bin isn't something he plans to do this weekend when he plays in front of some 15 family members at the 'Dome.

"I want to play, not hurt the team," said Snider. "(Coach) Lindsay (Sanderson) doesn't want me fighting. He'd rather have me playing."


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