Rochester Knighthawks forward Dan Dawson rang in his 400th career goal in spectacular fashion on Saturday, February 28th when the Knighthawks defeated the Calgary Roughnecks, 12-11, in a rematch of the 2014 Champion’s Cup Finals.
Just 39 seconds into the second quarter, and with the extra attacker on the floor, Cody Jamieson fed the ball to Dawson, who was positioned behind the Calgary goal. Dawson quickly dunked the ball in from behind the net to give the Knighthawks their largest lead of the game, 7-1. He also put up three assists in the victory.
“Cody is a nightmare for most goalies the way he sets up with his outside shot,” Dawson said. “We had the six on five so I figured I would sneak around the net and try to catch Cody’s shot. He saw that I was opened and I got the shot in so that’s just what happened.”
For Dawson, the goal, though special, was just him doing his job on the field. When he is in game-mode, he doesn’t think of the personal equities as much as he does doing what he can for the team and being a leader and a role model for his teammates.
“I don’t want to sound cliché-ish, but individual goals, accolades and personal stats don’t really mean a lot to me. At the end of the day, it’s about the team and the championships we win together,” said Dawson. “It goes to show how blessed I’ve been to be surrounded by so many great players. In sports you don’t accomplish these things on your own. You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Over my lacrosse career I’ve been extremely blessed to play with so many great players.”
“I’ve learned so much from Dan,” said Knighthawks forward Joe Walters. “I’ve played with him with the Knighthawks and in Brampton. He’s really impressive in how he’s a leader. We look to him as a leader. I’m really happy for him with every milestone he reaches. Hopefully, there are many more to come.”
Dawson is in his 14th season in the NLL and third with the Knighthawks. Since joining the team, he has proven to be a key player, scoring and assisting on key plays and goals. So far this season, he has amassed 45 points (12+33) in nine games. He sits at second place on the team in points and is tied for first in assists for the Knighthawks and fifth in the NLL.
This was just another accomplishment that Dawson was able to achieve this season. On January 24th, the 33-year-old played in his 200th consecutive regular season game when the Knighthawks defeated the Toronto Rock. One week later, he picked up a career-high 11 assists as the Knighthawks knocked off the Buffalo Bandits.
“Dan’s a true professional,” said Walters. “Reaching milestones like that is just a testament to him being able to take care of himself over the years. He really puts the effort in with strength and conditioning and playing at an elite level for a long time.”
“Dan is the most unselfish player out there,” said Knighthawks Head Coach Mike Hasen. “He’s an all-around dynamic player who makes everyone around him better. These milestones just add to the great career he’s had so far.”
With his 400th career goal, Dawson became just the ninth NLL player to accomplish the feat, joining John Tavares, Gary Gait, John Grant Jr., Colin Doyle, Shawn Williams, Lewis Ratcliff, Josh Sanderson and Paul Gait.
Story by Andrea Chevalier for Knighthawks.com. Photo by Larry Palumbo.