Dickson eager to erase pain of Calgary Roughnecks' NLL final loss in 2014 - InfoNews

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Dickson eager to erase pain of Calgary Roughnecks' NLL final loss in 2014

Calgary Roughnecks' Curtis Dickson is shown in this handout image during game action against the New England Black Wolves in Calgary on Saturday Jan. 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Roughnecks-Candice Ward *MANDATORY CREDIT*
May 17, 2019 - 4:00 PM

The Calgary Roughnecks' disappointing loss in the 2014 National Lacrosse League championship still haunts Curtis Dickson.

But he and his teammates have an opportunity to erase the heartbreaking loss from their memory starting this weekend as they take on the Buffalo Bandits for this year's title.

"It's one of those things that sticks with your forever," said Dickson, one of several veterans from 2014 still on the Roughnecks. "It pops up in my head from time to time. But we're all so excited to have this opportunity because if you win one now you'll totally forget about that one. That's our main goal, to make that loss a distant memory."

Back in 2014, the NLL used a two-game format for the Champion's Cup final between Calgary and Rochester. Calgary won Game 1 at home 10-7 and the Knighthawks took Game 2 16-10 a week later in Rochester, N.Y.

That necessitated a decisive 10-minute mini-game immediately after Game 2 at Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks won that 3-2 for Rochester's third straight trophy.

The league has since rechristened the championship trophy to the NLL Cup and changed the final's format to a true best-of-three series. Buffalo hosts Game 1 on Saturday, Game 2 will be in Calgary on May 25 and, if necessary, Game 3 will be back in western New York on May 31.

"To be that close and then not to win, we know to never take it for granted," said Dickson, who was drafted by the Roughnecks in 2010 and has yet to win a NLL championship. "Being that young and new to the league I figured 'Oh we'll be back here every year and get another chance' but it's been five years and this is our next crack at the can."

After tightly contested wins over the expansion San Diego Seals and the Colorado Mammoth in the earlier single-elimination rounds, Dickson says the Roughnecks are going to treat every game against the top-seeded Bandits like it's do-or-die.

"The only thing it really does is give you a little bit of breathing room knowing that you're not going home if you lose," said Dickson. "But, at the same time, you want to keep playing with that mentality because that's what got you to that position.

"We've been pretty much playing playoff lacrosse since halfway through the season. We've been telling ourselves that every game in must win."

It's been at least a decade since either Calgary or Buffalo won an NLL title. The Bandits will be seeking their fifth championship having previously won in 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2008. The Roughnecks won in 2004 and 2009.

"We don't want to lose Game 1 and have to go back there to win it in Game 3," said Dickson. "We're focused on this weekend in Buffalo, it's a big one, it's very important to get that first win."

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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