In a season where Curtis Dickson put up a few performances that made fans mouth drop – they witnessed one that made people pick their jaws up off the floor.
Against Minnesota in February, he scored a shorthanded hat trick in the fourth quarter for the win. Against Colorado last month, he scored the game tying goal late and the game-winner in overtime for the win.
But against Washington on Saturday, he had a game that launched him into NLL lore.
A hat trick in less than six minutes. A sock trick in less than 20 minutes. Three times he tied up the game. Seven goals in total – all in the second half.
“Curtis is a hell of an athlete and a hell of a player and for someone to put someone on his back and go to the net like that and play like that, he truly is the best lacrosse player in the world right now,” opined transition star Geoff Snider.
“For a guy that young to take us and put us on his back, he deserves a tonne of credit. He was great out there.”
But when Dickson came out to talk to the media after the game, there wasn’t a beaming smile or a hearty laugh. Because in the end, the Roughnecks fell one goal short of moving on to the NLL Championship Game next weekend.
“It’s a tough game, tough pill to swallow,” Dickson said. “Obviously our goal is to win a championship here and I’d trade all those goals for a chance to play next weekend. It’ll be a tough one to get over.”
Captain Andrew McBride said, “He’s an elite player in the NLL and that’s a guy that puts all of it on the floor and those are why these sting. You want to reward guys that have efforts like that. You want to be able to support him and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Dickson smashed a few records in the game: He set a franchise record for most goals in a playoff game. He broke his personal record for most goals in the game, regular season or playoffs. He became the first NLL player to score seven goals in a playoff game since Buffalo Bandits star Mark Steenhuis against the New York Titans in 2008.
The best part of Dickson’s performance is that we have to remember he’s only 24-years-old. He has yet to enter his prime and is already one of the best players in the NLL.
The same thing could be said about a number of Roughnecks players this season. The Roughnecks are one of the youngest teams in the NLL and will only improve as players enter their prime.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
70% — Dickson scored seven goals on just 10 shots in the second half. An incredible shooting percentage.
1. Curtis Dickson — One last point on his performance – he scored seven of the Roughnecks eight goals in the second half.
2. Dane Dobbie — Dickson was dominant in the second half; Dobbie controlled the second quarter. He scored a hat trick to keep Calgary close.
3. Jon Harnett — A few defenders could have earned this spot, but it goes to Harnett who was a beast on the defensive end. Six loose balls and two forced turnovers to boot.
“I’m proud of my guys, they battled and they battled hard but the end result is that we didn’t get the job done and it stings and it hurts. It’s going to be a long, long time until these guys get over it. I’d go to battle with those guys anytime again. I love them a lot and they shouldn’t be ashamed about anything that they did because they left it on the floor,” – Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky