It was a question that was on a lot of people’s minds early on in the NLL season – what was going on with Curtis Dickson?
He was a player that many people believed was one of the best players in the world, but he had only scored five times in the first five games.
I think those questions won’t be asked so many times this week.
Scoring the first and the last goal while adding three more in the middle, Curtis “Superman” Dickson finished the night with five goals and seven points in a 15-13 win over the Minnesota Swarm.
“It’s always nice to get the monkey off your back and the huge weight off your shoulders by getting some production from myself tonight,” Dickson said following the game.
“You always have to be hard on yourself, I knew I was better than that. I had the slow start and wasn’t really producing. The last few games before this one, I felt I was playing a lot better than the first few but I wasn’t able to bury my chances.”
Head coach Curt Malawsky has one belief about why Dickson played so well on Saturday night.
“I’ll tell you right now that fitness goes hand-in-hand with production and Dickson spent the last two weeks off in the gym,” Malawsky said. “ (Strength and conditioning coach Chris Osmond) did a great job with the guys on their fitness.
“I’m a firm believer if you put the effort and time in, you will be rewarded. (Dickson) was a little bit quicker, a little bit lighter and it’s no coincidence that he was able to go off like that.”
Tonight featured the vintage Dickson that Roughnecks fans grew to love over the last three seasons.
One marker came flying through the air cross crease, while another one saw him grab a loose ball behind the crease, and flip the ball into the empty net for a shorthanded marker.
He’s now the franchise leader in shorthanded goals with 13 in his career, one more than Roughnecks legend Tracey Kelusky.
Mike Poulin was so close to becoming the second goalie in Calgary in the last week to score a goal. The other one was Hitmen goalie Chris Driedger. The Swarm pulled their netminder in the final seconds of the first quarter in favour of the extra attacker. The plan would have been to run their play late enough in the period, so there would be no chance of an empty net goal. Almost every team does this with the last possession of a quarter. Fortunately, Poulin made the save with about three seconds left and fired the ball the length of the floor into the empty net. Unfortunately, the ball crossed the line just after the buzzer blew.
It’s fair to say that this was the most complete offensive game from the Roughnecks this season. Four of their five starters finished the night with six points or more, led by Shawn Evans with eight assists.
3. Karsen Leung – He again proved why the Roughnecks drafted him when they did. He fired two goals, both in transition, and is becoming a dominant scoring threat running floor.
2. Shawn Evans – He scores points so effortlessly, so quietly. Tonight was another example of looking at the scoresheet after the game and being amazed that he assisted on eight goals, but that’s what he does.
1. Curtis Dickson – If someone scores five goals, he’ll end up as the first star more often than not.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
2 – The Roughnecks scored a season-high two shorthanded goals.