Curtis Dickson may not have gone on to earn the nickname ‘Superman’ if not for the support of his parents while growing up in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Dickson’s dad Derek and mom Janis were among the 10,855 fans in attendance on Saturday at the Scotiabank Saddledome to watch their son score four goals and add six assists to lead the Roughnecks (7-9) to a 13-8 win over the Buffalo Bandits (5-9).
“It’s been a couple years since they were out here to watch,” said Dickson, who leads the National Lacrosse League with 46 goals this season. “Dad put a stick in my hands when I was two or three years old and I’ve been playing ever since. They’ve been my biggest supporters since Day 1. It’s always nice having them in the building and obviously extra special to get a win for them.”
Several other players also had their fathers in attendance for the game as part of a dad’s weekend hosted by the Roughnecks.
“You get to talk a little bit about the sacrifices that the dads did,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky, who used the special occasion as a rallying cry for his players. “The way the dads are, they’re competitors, they’re gamers. The kids are a product of their environments.
“The dads can’t go out and do it and today the guys needed to go out and do it for their dads just to thank them for all the things that they did. I think there’s a lot of dads up there that are real proud of their kids tonight.”
Goalie Frank Scigliano also played well in front of his proud papa Frank Sr. by stopping 46 of 54 shots he faced, including several great saves in the opening quarter when he didn’t allow a goal.
“I think it’s a little extra motivation; you want to play well in front of him,” said Scigliano, who didn’t take up lacrosse as a toddler like Dickson. “I didn’t really play lacrosse growing up much. I was a soccer kid. One of my soccer buddies said come and play lacrosse and (Frank Sr. has) loved it ever since. He’s never picked up a stick before, but he knows every player and he can tell you anything about any guy in this league for sure and other leagues as well.”
Jeff Shattler had a hat trick and two assists for the Riggers, who moved into third spot in the NLL’s West Division ahead of the Vancouver Stealth (6-9), who dropped 16-12 road decision to the Saskatchewan Rush on Saturday.
Calgary will face off against Vancouver at the Langley Events Centre next Saturday night (8 p.m.) in the biggest game of the season for both teams.
“It’s for all the marbles next week,” said Malawsky, while noting his players have fought hard to get back in the playoff picture after losing eight of nine games from Feb. 4 to March 24. “That’s what the guys play for. Especially where we came from. I think about five weeks ago we’d all take that. These guys have earned that chance. It’s going to be an exciting weekend next weekend.”
Wesley Berg scored twice and set up three others against the Bandits, while Tyler Digby and Riley Loewen had two goals and two assists each.
Pat Saunders had a hat trick for the Bandits, Mitch Jones scored twice and set up two others, while Dane Smith chipped in with a goal and five helpers.
Blaze Riorden and Steve Priolo also scored for Buffalo, while goalie Davide DiRuscio finished with 39 saves.
Dickson opened the scoring at 1:43 of the first quarter before Shattler fired a low shot past DiRuscio 92 seconds later to give the Riggers an early 2-0 lead.
Digby added to Calgary’s lead at 9:31 when he took a pass from Dickson in the slot before depositing a shot into the net over DiRuscio’s left shoulder.
Scigliano stopped all 16 shots he faced in the opening frame including four fired his way by Smith. It was the first time this season that the ’Necks held their opposition to no goals in the first quarter after accomplishing the feat three times last year.
Dickson opened the second quarter by firing a submarine shot past DiRuscio at 1:48 before Smith finally got the Bandits on the board at 9:19 on their 23rd shot of the game.
Shattler then dunked a shot from behind the net off DiRuscio’s back and in at 10:33 before Loewen scored at 13:11 to extend Calgary’s lead to 6-1.
Riorden converted a pass from Smith for a quick-stick goal with 7.9 seconds left on the clock to round out the scoring in the first half.
Berg and Dickson potted goals 38 seconds apart early in the third quarter before Jones responded for the Bandits.
After Dickson notched a short-handed goal at 10:30, Saunders counted back-to-back power-play goals 51 seconds apart to cut Calgary’s lead to 9-5.
Digby answered right back with a power-play goal of his own at 13:26 before Loewen snapped a shot past DiRuscio’s 29 seconds later.
Shattler and Berg scored early in the final frame for the ’Necks before Priolo, Jones and Saunders notched the final three goals of the game for the Bandits.