Cory Conway felt comfortable right away with the Timbermen, he said, and it looked like it.
In the first period of his first game with the Nanaimo Coastal Windows Timbermen on Sunday, he was in synch with Scott Ranger and Kaleb Toth in the attacking zone. He was dishing behind-the-back passes, picking and rolling, running loop-the-loops. By game’s end, Conway, Ranger and Toth – Calgary Roughnecks teammates in the winter – had accounted for five of Nanaimo’s goals in a 7-4 win against the Coquitlam Adanacs. They have a lot more goals in them this season in the Western Lacrosse Association.
Ranger and Toth have been with Nanaimo’s senior A lacrosse club since its formation, but Conway brings a whole other look to the right side.
“He’s a great athlete, he sees the floor really well and he’s got a great shot,” said Toth. “He’s an all-around great offensive player and bringing him in was key for us to have success.”
The addition of Conway was something of a surprise move, though Timbermen general manager Earl Nicholson said it had been in the works for some time.
Conway played three seasons with the Adanacs and was the WLA’s second-leading scorer last season. But the Victoria athlete said the Coquitlam organization was aware he didn’t want to stay on the mainland for the long haul.
“We had agreements early on that it wasn’t going to be a permanent kind of thing…” Conway said. “So we knew there was a period of time and I guess that’s come to an end and it is what it is. We all just have to move on.”
Moving on should be easy now, as Conway got some closure right away. His first game with the T-men came against his former team and he scored a key goal and was chosen first star that night.
“Anytime you’re playing against some of your friends … you’ve got to kind of put that aside,” he said. “Everybody’s out there trying to win a lacrosse game.”
He’s prepared to do what it takes now to help Nanaimo win.
Upon being traded this month, Conway said, he needed some time to reflect. He knew the Roughnecks wanted him to play summer lacrosse, so that was one reason to report to the Timbermen. But the major factor, he said, was that he knew the T-men had a “great group of guys” and he decided he wanted to join them.
“I was excited for something new,” he said.
Nanaimo will be something new. The Timbermen’s stable of right-handers means Conway might be asked to play a different sort of role than he played with the Adanacs last year. That’s OK with him – he’s taken pride in developing his skills without the ball and wants to prove that he’s made strides in that area.
“Anytime you’re with a different group of guys and there’s a different dynamic, you’re going to have different roles. I’m anticipating not carrying the ball as much and helping my teammates get open,” said Conway.
“Everybody’s kind of unselfish, everybody’s working together and if I get the points, I get the points. The biggest thing is if we get the win. That’s what counts.”
GAME ON … The Timbermen play the Langley Thunder tonight (May 30) in the Fraser Valley. The Thunder are expected to have former Timbermen star Lewis Ratcliff in the lineup … The T-men play the Victoria Shamrocks on Friday (June 1) at 7:45 p.m. at Victoria’s Bear Mountain Arena … Next home action for the T-men is June 10, when they host the Burnaby Lakers at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena … Scott Ranger, the league’s leading scorer, was selected as WLA player of the week.