Dawson had a goal and four assists as the Rochester Knighthawks held off the Washington Stealth for an 11-10 victory on Saturday and the National Lacrosse League championship.
The Oakville, Ont., native, who was the NLL's most valuable player in 2009, had played in the league for 12 years without winning a championship. He'd played in four Champion's Cup finals without a win.
"Finally," said Dawson. "One word describes it — finally. It's a load off my shoulders. I'm just thankful that (team owner and general manager Curt Styres) brought me on this year and things went according to plan."
Dawson and brother Paul had been acquired in an off-season blockbuster trade with the Wings that sent Paul Rabil and four other players to Philadelphia.
"It makes it a little bit extra special whenever you can win something with your own blood," said Dawson. "I've been lucky enough to win a couple of Mann Cups with Paul but we haven't had much luck in the NLL, so to win this with him is a little bit extra special.
"But as far as I'm concerned I've got 25 brothers in that room."
The Knighthawks are Dan Dawson's sixth team, having played for the Columbus Landsharks which then became the Arizona Sting. He was then selected first overall by the Portland LumberJax in the 2007 dispersal draft, and was the top pick of the Boston Blazers in the 2008 dispersal draft.
Dawson was also the first to go in the 2011 dispersal draft, spending a season in Philadelphia before being traded to Rochester.
Cody Jamieson led Rochester on Saturday with a hat trick and two assists, earning the game's MVP honours.
"The game went as I expected," said Jamieson. "Nobody comes into the championship game expecting to lose."
It is the Knighthawks' second consecutive Champion's Cup and third in franchise history.
Rochester took a 10-7 lead headed into halftime and then both defences took over as the Knighthawks were scoreless in the third quarter and had one goal in the fourth.
Washington struck twice in the third and added another goal in the fourth.
"Hats off to the defence, obviously," said Jamieson. "Score one goal in the second half and our defence holds them, it's huge for us."
Joe Walters also had a goal and four assists for Rochester, while Cory Vitarelli had a pair of goals. Johnny Powless, Craig Point, Mike Accursi and Brad Self all added singles.
Rhys Duch scored three times for the Stealth, while Cliff Smith and Tyler Garrison both had a pair of goals. Brett Bucktooth, Lewis Ratcliff and Athan Iannucci chipped in as well.
Matt Vinc made 39 saves for the win, while Tyler Richards stopped 38 shots for Washington.
The Champion's Cup final was held in Langley, B.C., before a sold-out crowd of 5,500. The NLL had a franchise in Vancouver from 2002 to 2004. Approximately one-third of players in the league are from British Columbia.