Lindores' first hat trick sparks confidence heading into crucial stretch

SOUTHAVEN, Miss - In last weekend’s home game against the Pensacola Ice Flyers, forward Robert Lindores struck his first hat trick of his professional career. He’s scored eight goals and four assists in 49 games with the RiverKings.

For the 5-foot-10, 190-pound forward, he reached a proud moment in front of his mother where he tallied the three-goal game last Friday night. However much like other rookies in the league, he’s had to plow through the ups and downs as a professional hockey player such as dealing with a goal scoring slump since late December.

Now with a career-high performance under his belt, the Port Alberni, British Columbia native is settling in at the right time before postseason play.

Q. It’s your first season of professional hockey, describe your experience so far with the RiverKings.

A. “It’s been good. It was a little hectic at the beginning with so much movement between here and the East Coast League (ECHL). Once things settled out, it was good. We had a solid core. You don’t want to feel to comfortable but it’s nice to start fitting in and know you are part of the team.”

Q. How was it hectic for you personally?

A. “Seeing new faces come in from an higher level and knowing guys will get sent to different teams or down a league. It’s tough not knowing where you fit in at first. But like I said, after a while, you establish your role and get to know what the coach thinks of you.”

Q. What are some things you have learned?

A. “Hockey wise, it’s way different how the game is played here versus college. College was very systematic and structural. This league is a little more run and gun. We are built around speed. So our team fits the league good. I think it’s just adjusting to always moving and focusing on not so much of exact positioning on the ice but attacking on quick transitions. It’s been a pretty big thing.”

Q. What have you learned about yourself?

A. “Probably the fact this is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been a goal I made, and I put it in my head and stuff. So, I would say if you want to make something of yourself and do it, put your head to it. I wasn’t sure about sticking here, but I knew there was a good chance to play. I just worked my hardest and stuck to what I sought out to do.”

Q. How was it to score your first hat trick of your pro career?

A. “It was really exciting. I had really good stretch in the first half. I was getting quite a few points until Christmas, maybe the middle of January when I really started struggling to put the puck in the net or getting any points to help contribute to the team. So, it was nice to break out like that and get a hat trick. I haven’t had a hat trick since my 20-year old season in juniors. So, it was definitely exciting.”

Q. Did anyone help you with your struggle mid-season?

A. “Yeah, my line mates. I played with different guys this year, but there have been several guys with similar situations with longer slumps or shorter slumps. You can kind of make fun of yourself at practice. It helps just to bear down and score as much as you can in practice so the repetitions will help you put them into the net when you get chances in the game.”

Q. Your family was there to watch you. Describe the type of impact they have had on you.

A. “My parents and both of my grandparents have been both pretty instrumental in my hockey. Growing up, my parents both worked. My dad coached me, but when I started to travel, my grandparents were always taking me to games and traveling with me. So, they have been both important in supporting me and encouraging me. My dad has been out a couple times. He loves to watch me play. I didn’t score any of the times he has been here. My mom doesn’t get out as much. She comes more to visit with me and not to necessarily watch hockey. She saw one game and that game was the one I scored the hat trick.”

Q. What things in your game have you seen yourself improve upon?

A. “As the year has gone on, I think I have improved as far as capitalizing on offensive opportunities and making things happen in the offensive zone. With only three lines here, everyone has to contribute and I think my offensive game has got better as the season has gone on. At first, I was more in a checking in line role. So, it was nice to make that adjustment. Also, I have got better at not worrying about things like my slump for example.”

Q. What characteristic makes you stand out from the rest of the team you think?

A. “I don’t know if I have one thing from the rest of the squad. I would say not everyone on the team is particularly gritty. I think I bring some sand paper to the team. Definitely, other guys bring it as well. But, I think you need a few of those guys with work ethic and a gritty game that can contribute. I don’t need to do anything fancy. I just need to play a power forward’s game. It’s nice to fill in a role like that having guys with different skills on the team.”

Q. Are there any veterans on the team who you look up to?

A. “I like the way ‘Manny’ (Devin Mantha) plays obviously. There are other guys on the team that are very skilled but Manny, I think, brings it 110 percent every night. He’s got the skill too, but a part of the reason why he’s been at the next level is because he works as hard as he can. “

Q. The team seems to be coming together nicely right before the playoffs, what do you accredit that to?

A. “Yeah, we’ve been wanting to put a few guys games together now. We were kind of in the midst of winning one, losing one game thing. We got a few guys back who have been for awhile now. We picked up a college guy. Our team settled in. We have even numbers. At this point in the year and playoffs coming down, you want to string together some wins and feel like you are on a streak because there are only three-game series. You want to try and win two pretty quick. I think we just need to stay healthy. Even though we are missing a few guys, we are built for it. We need to stay healthy and focused. These last seven games are big deal. It determines whether we can get home advantage.”

Forward Robert Lindores scored his first hat trick of his career on March 17 against the Pensacola Ice Flyers. He has tallied 12 points (8G,4A) in 49 games this season.  - © Kori LaVire

The RiverKings take on the Pensacola Ice Flyers for Military Night on this Saturday on March 25 where the team will wear special camouflage jerseys honoring active and veteran members of the military. For tickets and details, visit RiverKings.com or call 662-342-1755 

About the Mississippi RiverKings
The RiverKings are supported by our community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and grants from Maddox Foundation, an independent private foundation based in Hernando, Miss. To find out more about the RiverKings, call 662-342-1755 or visit RiverKings.com.


Posted by Mississippi RiverKings at 9:20 AM

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