University of Maine senior right wing Brendan Robbins got off to a slow start this season, not scoring his first goal until the 2-1 overtime win at Vermont on Nov.30. It was UMaine’s 13th game.
But he has been making up for lost time lately, scoring the game-winners in UMaine’s 3-1 win over Providence and 4-2 triumph over Merrimack and he also assisted on the game-tying goal in the 3-3 tie with Merrimack.
Robbins now has at least a point in four of his last five games (2 goals, 2 assists) and he has four goals and five assists over his last 10 games entering this weekend’s important Hockey East series with the visiting Boston College Eagles.
“Points-wise, the first half of the season was frustrating,” Robbins said. “But in the second half, the puck has been going in for me a little bit, and it’s taken a weight off my shoulders.
“I’m playing with more confidence,” he added. “I’ve been shooting the puck more.”
Robbins scored on a shorthanded breakaway to supply the game-winner in the 3-1 victory over No. 11 Providence and converted a two-on-one with a one-timer off an Emil Westerlund feed. In between, he assisted on Brady Keeper’s game-tying goal with 57 seconds left in the first Merrimack game, a 3-3 tie.
Even when he isn’t scoring, Robbins provides the team with a spark.
“He’s one of our fastest guys and he always goes all out,” junior left wing Mitch Fossier said.
“He shows up every day and works his tail off,” UMaine head coach Red Gendron said. “He is a pure competitor with an NHL motor. And he brings it all the time.”
Robbins, a 6-foot-1, 186-pound native of Nashua, New Hampshire, said he tries to bring energy to every practice and game.
“I pride myself on my work ethic. I always try to outwork the guy across from me,” he said. “He may have more talent and skill than I do, but I’m going to keep going after him. That’s what got me to this level.”
Robbins will enter the BC series with six goals and four assists in 30 games. He is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals with two and his shorthanded goal was the third of his career.
He now has four game-winners over his last two seasons to go his three shorthanded goals.
Robbins has also been a iron man, leading the team in career games played with 137.
He admitted that he and his mates thought they would produce a better record than they have so far (12-14-4 overall, 8-8-4 in Hockey East) but he is quick to point out the team is playing some of its best hockey right now and is hoping they can continue that over the final four regular season games into the playoffs.