National Lacrosse League players showed their versatility again this weekend, as some the best NLL players competed in field lacrosse while representing their countries.
Curtis Dickson of the Calgary Roughnecks scored two of his game-high four goals in the fourth quarter as Canada pulled away for an 11-9 victory over the United States in the Duel in Denver, a men's lacrosse exhibition game played before 4,583 fans at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The Duel in Denver was the first game between Canada and the U.S. since the U.S. beat the Canadians 12-10 in the 2010 FIL World Championship game in Manchester England. The U.S. has an all-time record of 15-3 against Canada in FIL World Championship competition, but Canada has now won three of the last four meetings between the two nations.
Dickson's third goal with 15:31 remaining in the game broke a 7-7 tie and ignited a three-goal run for Canada. Kyle Harrison stopped the run by scoring at 7:29 for the U.S. to cut the lead to 10-8, but Dickson again had the answer. He drove from behind the cage for his fourth goal with 5:32 remaining for Canada's final goal.
The U.S. made one final push. Steven Brooks ripped home an outside shot from the right wing with 4:03 to play to cut the lead to 11-9, and the U.S. won the ensuing faceoff. Canadian goalie Angus Dineley made his only save of the fourth quarter on a shot by Harrison with 2:38 to play.
Seconds later Drew Westervelt's (Philadelphia Wings) shot bounced off the top crossbar, and Canada picked up the ground ball. Canada then took advantage of two U.S. penalties in the closing minutes to run out the clock.
Canada jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first half as the U.S. struggled to generate offense against Evan Kirk (Minnesota Swarm), who made 13 first half saves for the Canadians. The U.S. got back into the game with a dominant third quarter in which it won all six faceoffs and outscored Canada 4-1 to tie the game 6-6 entering the final quarter.
Dickson was the only multiple goal scorer for Canada, but John Grant Jr., Adam Jones (Colorado Mammoth), Jordan McBride and Kevin Ross (Minnesota Swarm) each had a goal and an assist. Kirk finished the first half with 13 saves while allowing just two goals and Dineley had 10 saves with seven goals allowed.
Matt Striebel led the U.S. with two goals while Paul Rabil (Rochester Knighthawks) had a goal and two assists and Brooks had a goal and an assist. Drew Adams played the first half in goal and had five saves while allowing five goals. Jesse Schwartzman played the second half and had three saves with six goals allowed. Greg Gurenlian and Matt Dolente split faceoff duties for the U.S. against Canada's Geoff Snider (Calgary Roughnecks). Gurenlian won 8 of 12 and Dolente won 5 of 12.