That’s the attitude new Penticton Vees goalie Mathew Robson aims to bring this season.
“I’m hoping to backstop a lot of them and if they need me to steal a game here and there, that’s what I’m here for,” said Robson, on Tuesday following his second ice session.
Robson, 20, joins the Vees after spending a year practicing with the Clarkson University Golden Knights. Robson was sitting out after he won an appeal against the National Collegiate Athletic Association as he had signed with an Ontario Hockey League team at 16 but never played after getting injured. While Robson won the ruling, the NCAA gave him a 1.5-year suspension. Robson chose to leave Clarkson University as he wanted to get back to playing and earn a scholarship with another school.
He’s anxious to get the season going. The Toronto native’s summer focused on improving his leg strength as he said that is critical for moving side-to-side. He also worked on his flexibility and feels great.
Robson also brings valuable playoff experience as he helped the Toronto Lake Shore Patriots win an Ontario Junior Hockey League championship in 2014-15.
“It gives you that confidence knowing you can take a team through the playoffs and go on a deep run,” he said. “With a team like this, we’re hosting, we don’t just want to slip in the back door, we want to go all the way.”
Robson is impressed with what he has seen from the players during training camp so far. He said the older players can let the puck fly.
“It’s good to see, I’m glad they are on my side,” he smiled.
Second-year forward Taylor Ward likes what he sees of Robson.
“He’s an unbelievable goalie. I’m excited to see what he can do in the season,” said Ward, adding Robson looks technically strong.
When asked if he beat Robson with any shots, he couldn’t recall. Robson did though.
“He sniped me today. He beat me high glove,” he said.
Robson’s only focus in camp, which concludes Saturday, is solidifying his position.
“Coming in as a 20 year old, people on the outside may think, ‘oh yeah, you’ve got the starting job.’ That’s not how it works,” said Robson. “Especially in the junior level, especially with a coach like Fred (Harbinson). He’s going to play whoever is going. I just want to give a good first impression on the ice and solidify my spot.”