Trade re­turn­ing big div­i­dends

Robert­son nets hat trick, Pa­que­tte scores first goal for Ni­a­gara as ’Dogs win fourth in a row

The Niagara Falls Review - - Sports - ROD MAWHOOD

A quick glance at the box score from Thurs­day night’s Ni­a­gara IceDogs game would likely tell you one story – Ja­son Robert­son is one heck of hockey player.

How­ever, if you look a lit­tle deeper into the IceDogs 6-5 win over the Sag­i­naw Spirit, you’ll no­tice all six goals scored by the ’Dogs in­volved the two play­ers Ni­a­gara gen­eral man­ager Joey Burke re­cently ac­quired in a trade with the Kingston Fron­te­nacs.

Robert­son tal­lied a hat trick and added two helpers, while de­fence­man Ja­cob Pa­que­tte scored once as the IceDogs won their fourth straight game.

It was Pa­que­tte’s first goal in a Ni­a­gara uni­form.

“A lot of peo­ple know me as a shut-down D (de­fence), but ob­vi­ously play­ing on a team like this we get a lot more op­por­tu­nity to show our of­fence,” said the 6foot-3 Nashville Preda­tors sev­enth-round draft pick.

“I haven’t seen my goal yet, can’t wait to watch it, but it was nice to score here.

“I just love play­ing here, it’s awe­some. There is so much skill

here, it’s just fun as (heck).”

IceDogs head coach Billy Burke said Pa­que­tte is more than a stay-at-home de­fence­man.

“To be hon­est, we kind of thought he was a two-way de­fence­man a lit­tle bit,” Burke said. “He’s just so rock solid, and it’s nice for him to get a goal for us tonight.”

As for Robert­son, he now has six goals and 19 points in just six games since ar­riv­ing from Kingston.The Dal­las Stars sec­on­dround draft pick is now tied for the league lead in points with 57, in­clud­ing 30 goals. That in­cludes an On­tario Hockey League-best 13 tal­lies on the power play.

Ni­a­gara was a per­fect 4-for-4 with the man ad­van­tage Thurs­day night, and Robert­son scored all three of his goals on the power play.

“Ev­ery­one has skill on that top power-play unit, all fu­ture NHLers,” said Robert­son, a Northville, Mich., na­tive who leaves for Team USA world junior train­ing camp next Fri­day.

“It’s just awe­some to be a part of that, and for me com­ing in here and get­ting com­fort­able on the power play, I just fit in per­fectly.”

Ben Jones also con­nected with the man ad­van­tage, while Lley­ton Moore had the other goal for the IceDogs who out­shot the Spirit 47-36.

Ni­a­gara led 2-1 af­ter one pe­riod of play, and 5-4 head­ing into the third af­ter blow­ing a 5-2 lead mid­way through the sec­ond pe­riod.

“We had that big lead in the sec­ond pe­riod, and they got a cou­ple of goals back, so it kind of tested us, a lit­tle ad­ver­sity for the team,” Robert­son said. “It’s my sixth game here, but the first time for me to see how the team ad­justs to it (ad­ver­sity) and I think the team did a fan­tas­tic job.”

“He’s a great guy first and fore­most,” Burke said when asked about the im­me­di­ate im­pact Robert­son has made with the IceDogs.

“He’s a great team­mate. I can re­ally see why his team­mates would be at­tracted to him,” the coach said. “He comes to work ev­ery day and is al­ways early and never the first one off (the ice). “Un­be­liev­able im­pact.” Ni­a­gara now wel­comes the North Bay Bat­tal­ion Satur­day. Game time at Merid­ian Cen­tre in St. Catharines is set for 7 p.m.

Satur­day night’s con­test is the an­nual Teddy Bear Toss Game in sup­port of Vic­tim Ser­vices Ni­a­gara. Ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance is en­cour­aged to throw a new or gen­tly used teddy bear or stuffed an­i­mal onto the ice af­ter the IceDogs score their first goal of the game. ’Dog Bis­cuits: Ma­son Howard, D; and Jonah De Si­mone, F; were scratched for Ni­a­gara. De Si­mone was hon­oured be­fore the game as the IceDogs aca­demic

player of the month for Novem­ber. He is av­er­ag­ing 92 per cent in his Grade 11 and 12 uni­ver­sitylevel cour­ses at Gover­nor Sim­coe Sec­ondary School in St. Catharines … Cameron Lamour, G; Caleb Everett, D; Hay­den Davis, D; Rea­gan O’Grady, D; and Dun­can Pen­man, D; were out for Sag­i­naw. Davis is a for­mer firstround pick of the IceDogs … Both teams were per­fect on the power play in the game: Ni­a­gara, 4-for-4; Sag­i­naw, 2-for-2.

BOB TYMCZYSZYN THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Ni­a­gara’s Ja­son Robert­son cel­e­brates a power-play goal in On­tario Hockey League ac­tion ver­sus Sag­i­naw Thurs­day night at Merid­ian Cen­tre.

BOB TYMCZYSZYN THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Ni­a­gara’s Ja­son Robert­son (19) scores on Sag­i­naw goal­tender Ivan Prosve­tov on Thurs­day night On­tario Hockey League ac­tion..

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