CALGARY — Curtis Dickson would love to play the Edmonton Rush every week.
Dickson scored four goals including the game-winner with 39 seconds remaining as the Calgary Roughnecks continued its domination of the Rush with a 9-8 National Lacrosse League victory on Saturday night.
“It’s an easy game to get up for, it’s the Battle of Alberta, it’s a West Division opponent, and we play those guys four times a year. It’s a lot of fun out there,” said Dickson, who has scored 25 of his 79 career goals in 10 games against Edmonton.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have continued success against these guys and hopefully I can keep rolling against the rest of the league.”
Calgary has won 12 consecutive regular season games against the Rush and 17 of its last 18 meetings.
“We’ve lost a couple overtime games in there, it always seems to come down to late in the game,” said Edmonton coach Derek Keenan.
“Tonight, we did a good job defensively in the fourth quarter but Dickson did a really good job of finding some shooting lanes for himself.”
Dickson’s winning goal came on a long shot that beat goaltender Aaron Bold through the pads. It came on the heels of goals 1:16 apart from Mark Matthews and Ryan Ward as the Rush battled back to tie it 8-8.
“When Curtis puts the work boots and hard hat on and battles in the trenches, he’s pretty tough to stop one-on-one,” Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky said. “Dickson’s a competitor, he likes the competition. Every time we play these guys, it’s a full-out war that could go either way. Glad we were on the right end of the stick tonight.”
Also scoring for Calgary (4-2) was Greg Harnett with his first career goal, Joe Resetarits, Mike Carnegie, Shawn Evans and Jeff Shattler.
Leading the way for Edmonton (1-4) was Jarrett Davis with three goals. Matthews scored twice with Curtis Knight and Ryan Dilks also scoring.
It was the first home win of the year for Calgary, which has won four straight to take over first place in the West Division. Edmonton remains last with a big weekend coming up in which they host Washington on Friday night and play in Denver on Saturday night.
“There’s a little more urgency to win now,” said Davis. “Next weekend, we have two big games back-to-back. We really want to make sure that we win both of them. If we put ourselves behind too early in the season, we will be playing catch up the rest of the year and that’s not the position we want to be in.”
In the second of the home-and-home series, the game before 10,002 at the Scotiabank Saddledome was very different than last Saturday night when the two rivals hooked up in a wild game in Edmonton, which ended 18-15 in favour of Calgary.
“The last two weeks, even though different types of games, both were really, really good games and very entertaining,” said Keenan. “Both goalies tonight were stellar. We had really good chances early in the game when we were really executing our offence well and (Mike) Poulin was really good.”
The game’s first goal didn’t come until 9:14 of the first quarter when Davis put a high shot past Poulin.
By that same point in the game a week ago, seven goals had already been scored.
“When you battle that hard and play with that much heart and intensity, you’re going to win a lot of games,” Keenan said. “It’s tough to go in and tell them that tonight though, when they lose by one, but it’s the truth.”
Down 2-0, Calgary finally got on the scoreboard at 6:52 of the second quarter on a spectacular goal by Dickson, who swung in off the side boards and fired a shot behind Bold as he dove across the front of the net.
The story of the first half was a seven-minute penalty kill by the Roughnecks in which they held Edmonton to just one goal.
It started off as a major penalty for an illegal body-check on Jon Harnett, but grew from five to seven minutes when a minute into the penalty, while Harnett was in the penalty box, he was assessed an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Bold, who was pulled a week ago after giving up nine goals on 16 shots, stopped the first 14 shots he faced and finished with 44 saves on the night. Poulin had 45 stops.