A BALLYMONEY man’s ability to remain ice-cool under pressure has led to him being snapped up by the Belfast Giants.
Twenty-four-year-old Andrew Dickson will become the Giants’ backup netminder, playing behind British Netminder of the Year Stephen Murphy this season.
Andrew was part of the Giants play-off winning team in 2009/10 training with the Giants all season long before moving to the Invicta Dynamos last season.
In 18 games last season with Invicta, he put up impressive statistics including a goals against average of 3.56 and a save percentage of 91.2%.
His on-ice performance saw him pick up two Man of the Match Awards throughout the year and he was picked as the Coach’s Player of the Year by Dynamos Coach Kevin Parrish at the end of the season.
Giants Head Coach Doug Christiansen commented on the signing of Andrew:
“Andrew has worked extremely hard to develop his game.
“Last season he had a very productive year in his first year as a starter.
“He is still a young goalie and will improve tremendously this season with the Giants.
“ It is great to have another young local player join our team.
“ I hope the development of players like Dickson and Gareth Roberts prove to kids playing ice hockey in Northern Ireland that hard work does pay off.”
Giants General Manager Todd Kelman spoke about Andrew and the opportunity he has earned with the Giants.
“I am very pleased to have Andrew back with us and I know that he is excited to be back, this time as the backup for the Giants,” he said.
“This role is a big step up for him from where he was two seasons ago with us and also from where he was last season with the Invicta Dynamos but Dickson understands what we expect of him and I believe he will take full advantage of this opportunity.
“Andrew is a very hard worker and the kind of player that every team loves to have on and off the ice.
“The guys that played with him two years ago loved having him on the team, he is a fun guy and a real character but he also understands that he has to train harder than anyone if he wants to improve as much as he can.
“I don’t think Ballymoney is exactly a hot bed of ice hockey talent, but they should all be proud of one of their own putting in the effort and commitment to make it at this level.
“It is not easy for players in Northern Ireland to get to this level.
“Geography and lack of facilities puts them all at a distinct disadvantage over players in England, Scotland and Wales, but Dickson has persevered and worked to improve at his sport to the point where we are confident that he can fulfil this role at the Elite League level.”
Andrew and the rest of the Belfast Giants will hit the ice for the first time this season against the Nottingham Panthers on August Bank Holiday Weekend playing back to back games on Saturday August 27th (7pm) and Sunday August 28th (4pm) at the Odyssey Arena.