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05-20-2004

Mom, Clarkson & Community Cheer On Nhl Flames Stars Conroy And Clarke

If unbridled enthusiasm and the overwhelming support of an entire town are enough to propel an NHL team to victory, the Calgary Flames might soon be celebrating their first Stanley Cup championship in 15 years.

You might expect Craig Conroy's family and friends to be excited about the Potsdam native's all-star performance this year and his team's unexpected ascent to the NHL finals, but why is the entire Clarkson University community suddenly hot for the Flames? Because #22 Conroy and #17 Chris Clark are former Golden Knights standouts. Conroy plays the centre position for the Calgary Flames, Chris Clarke is at right wing.

As Calgary heads for either Philadelphia or Tampa Bay for game one of the Stanley Cup championship series Tuesday, Clarkson faculty, staff, alumni and students will be gathering around television sets across the U. S. and Canada to root for them.

Hockey ties are strong at Clarkson, but this is especially true in Conroy's case. He was an outstanding Potsdam high-school player who chose to take his hockey skills to the school and team where both his father and uncle played. Conroy was sensational right from the start. He was named to the first NCAA All-American team and the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team. Conroy finished his final season at Clarkson by leading the ECAC in both scoring (66 goals) and assists (40).

Conroy's biggest fan is at still Clarkson. "That is, when I am not "ice-side" cheering Craig on," says Marianne Conroy-Stone, Conroy's mother. Conroy-Stone is an administrative secretary in Clarkson University's Office of Admission and Alumni & Parent Relations. Although she just returned home from witnessing the sixth-seeded Flames' victory over the San Jose Sharks in the Western Regional Finals, Conroy-Stone is already looking at flights to both Tampa and Philadelphia. "I am just waiting to see which team my son will take on next," she said. Like the regional finals in Calgary's Saddle Dome, the Stanley Cup Finals are sure to be played before sell-out crowds.

Chris Clark will have his share of supporters, too. The NHL veteran wing played at Clarkson from 1994 to 1998, accumulating 63 goals and 65 assists. He was a 2nd team All-Star his final season. Hard-nosed play made Clark a fan favorite at Clarkson, and it continues to make him one of Calgary's most popular players.

Wherever you are Tuesday night, don't be surprised if someone with ties to the North Country and/or Clarkson University suddenly screams out "Go Flames!"

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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