CALGARY, AB — Curtis ‘Superman’ Dickson had the hot hand to lead the Calgary Roughnecks to their first victory of the season on Saturday.
Dickson scored seven times and added two assists to lead the Riggers to a 16-13 win over the Vancouver Stealth in front of an appreciative crowd of 11,645 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“The ball was going into the net obviously,” said Dickson, who scored the only two goals of the third quarter for the ’Necks and the first three markers of the final frame. “That was a testament to our offence tonight. We played well. We moved the ball well and I was finding myself open and the ball was dropping for me, so it was nice to finally get that feeling.”
Calgary coach Curt Malawsky was quick to praise Dickson for his impressive performance.
“Big players show up in big games,” Malawsky said. “I don’t think anyone had to tell anybody how big this game was for our organization and for our group of men in that locker room.
He stepped up tonight in a big, big way. It was an honest effort and a special effort. He’s a special lacrosse player. He can put teams on his back. He’s learned that we’re all backing him up and he doesn’t have to carry the team. He gets big goals at big times and that’s what makes him very good.”
Dane Dobbie chipped in with a hat trick and four helpers for the Roughnecks (1-6), while Shawn Evans had two goals and four assists. Daryl Veltman scored once and set up four others, while Curtis Manning, Mike Carnegie and Peter McFetridge also scored.
Goalie Frankie Scigliano made 36 saves to record his first win since back in the 2012 season.
“As I keep getting the call here, I build a little more confidence each game for sure,” Scigliano said. “Obviously we got the result we wanted tonight. It feels good. You take the win personally, but I think everyone in this room earned it tonight, not just myself.”
Rhys Duch had four goals and four helpers for the Stealth (3-4), which had won the previous two matchups between the two squads this season including a 13-9 victory one week earlier at the Langley Events Centre.
Corey Small also had a four-goal game and added three assists for Vancouver, while Johnny Powless, Justin Salt, Tyler Digby, Tyler Hass and Mitch McMichael had singles. Goalie Tyler Richards made 41 saves in a losing cause.
Duch and Powless scored to put the Stealth up 2-0 before Veltman picked the top corner behind Richards with a long-range shot during a Calgary man advantage to pull the ’Necks within a goal before the end of the first quarter.
Duch notched his second of the game 44 seconds into the second quarter before Mike Carnegie scored on a shorthanded breakaway 61 seconds later.
After Salt finished off a give-and-go with Joel McCready to give Vancouver a 4-2 lead, Dickson responded for Calgary with back-to-back power-play goals to even the score.
Evans then got in on the action as he fired a low shot past Richards at 9:10 of the second before Dobbie scored 29 seconds later to put Calgary up 6-4.
Shortly after Hass pulled the Stealth back within one, McFetridge scored a highlight-reel goal to put the ’Necks back up by a pair. McFetridge took a pass from Dan MacRae in the slot before spinning around to shake off a check and firing a shot past Richards while falling to the floor.
With 2:10 left in the first half, Small scored a quick-stick goal to pull the Stealth back within a goal.
Dickson then counted the first two goals of the third quarter before Duch and Small replied for the Stealth. After scoring his goal, Small landed on Scigliano’s leg and as assessed a five-minute major for goaltender interference.
Dickson scored his fifth of the game on the ensuing power play 50 seconds into the fourth quarter and then finished off his sock trick a short time later when he deposited an over-the-shoulder shot into the net behind Richards.
“Those are always nice when those go in,” Dickson said. “When the ball’s dropping for you, everything seems to go in, so it was nice to get one like that.”
Not done yet, Dickson drove hard to the net to score his seventh of the game at 7:36 of the final frame to put the ’Necks up 12-8.
The Stealth rallied with five goals before the final buzzer sounded, but the Riggers still had some scoring left as well as Manning, Dobbie (with two) and Evans scored.
Next up, the Roughnecks will travel to Rochester to play the defending NLL champion Knighthawks next Saturday night.
“We’re going to enjoy this one tonight and saddle up for next week because we know we’re going into the defending champs,” Malawsky said. “That’s where we lost the championship, so there’s some extra motivation for our guys to go out there.”