IceDogs double Steelheads
Jason Robertson collected four points Thursday as the Niagara IceDogs doubled the Mississauga Steelheads. PHOTO BY: VIVID EYE PHOTOGRAPHY
Jason Robertson has done it all and then some since arriving in Niagara.
The 19-year-old forward was the centrepiece of a blockbuster trade with the Kingston Frontenacs earlier this season and has more than delivered.
Robertson collected two goals and two assists Thursday as the Niagara IceDogs topped the Mississauga Steelheads 4-2 in Ontario Hockey League action in St. Catharines.
Robertson’s four points give him a league-leading 110, two up on Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Both teams have two games remaining in the regular season.
“Stats are always nice but I like to be a humble player,” Robertson said. “I couldn’t get to where I am without the help of my teammates and coaches and everyone around them.
“It’s a great stat but we’re still trying to push for first place.”
Robertson had 23 goals and 38 points in 24 games with Kingston. He’s upped his production in Niagara with 22 goals and 72 points in just 36 games.
“They brought me in to be a goal scorer,” he said. “I kind of took a backseat from it the past couple of weeks, but I still tried to provide offence and be a good leader for this team.
“I think I’ve done that pretty well and done my job since coming here and just want to keep that going through the playoffs.”
The IceDogs now have 91 points and are three points up on Oshawa for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. They lead Sudbury by two points for top spot in the Central Division.
Niagara jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period on a pair of goals by Akil Tomas and one by Robertson.
Robertson appeared to give the IceDogs a 4-0 lead in the second but the goal was correctly called back on an offside call.
The Steelheads then took over and dominated the rest of the period, scoring the lone goal when James Hardie netted his 15th of the season. Mississauga held a 16-9 edge in shots in the period.
Robertson then collected his second of the night in the third to give Niagara a two-goal lead after the Steelheads drew to within one at 3-2.
It was a chippy affair from start to finish and ended with a brief scrum at centre and Akil Thomas on top of a Steelhead.
“That’s hockey. At the end of the day winning is hard,” Robertson said. “Guys try to get that extra advantage over players. I’m not a chippy player but we have a locker room full of guys here willing to do that.
“It’s a good test with the playoffs ready to get going.”
Ice cubes: Christian Sbaraglia, Andrew Bruder, Kyen Sopa and Jake Uberti did not dress for the IceDogs . . . Ryan Wells, Isaac Walker, Jake Cella and Nick McHugh were scratched for the Steelheads . . . The IceDogs honoured overage players Stephen Dhillon, Matt Brassard and Johnathon Schaefer before the game . . . Austin Konderka dropped the puck for the ceremonial face off . . . Callan Christner levelled IceDogs forward Oliver Castleman in the second period and was given a two-minute penalty for a blind side hit. Castleman had to be helped off the ice and did not return.
IceDogs 4 Steelheads 2
BPSN Player of the Game: Niagara forward Jason Robertson with two goals and two assists.
Niagara IceDogs: Robertson 2 (44, 45); Akil Thomas 2 (36, 37).
Mississauga Steelheads: James Hardie (15); Richard Whittaker (11).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By Niagara on Jacob Ingham (25), by Mississauga on Stephen Dhillon (33); Power plays: Niagara 2-for-7, Mississauga 1-for-5; Penalty minutes: Niagara 22, Mississauga 26.
Attendance: 5,610 (sell out)
Up next: The IceDogs wrap up the regular season Saturday in Barrie and Sunday afternoon in North Bay. The IceDogs will begin the playoffs Thursday at home.
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