The NWHL announced before the start of this season that the league would be expanding the number of games the teams will play. I want to take a look at the players stats to see how players are taking advantage of the extended schedule and possible expanded roles on their respective teams. Today, we’ll be looking at Minnesota Whitecaps forward Audra Richards.
Audra Richards played college hockey from 2012-2016 at the University of Maine. She scored 45 goals and added 25 assists for a total of 70 points, which is good enough for 13th all time, during her four years of college hockey. (According to Elite Prospects.) After a brief hiatus, she signed for the Metropolitan Riveters.
During her rookie year, she played 16 games in which she scored 8 goals and had no assists on the year. She was tied for the team lead in goals with Madison Packer. Also, 6 of her 8 goals came against the Connecticut Whale that season. However, interestingly enough, she was the only player last season to record a hat trick in the NWHL. Her efforts led to her being named an NWHL All Star in her rookie year and she got to showcase her skills in Nashville.
She even scored during the All Star Game!
The Riveters would play the Whale again during the playoffs, and Richards would add 2 more goals for a total of 10 on the year! The Riveters would get bounced in the playoffs by the eventual champions, the Minnesota Whitecaps.
In her second year in the league, the Minnesota native would not re-sign with the Riveters; rather, she would sign for her hometown team, the Minnesota Whitecaps.
She has so far not suffered any “sophomore slumps,” as her prowess for being on the score sheet hasn’t diminished at all this season. Having only played 20 games so far this season, she has found the back of the net 8 times so far. Tying her goal tallies from her rookie season; but also, this season, she has added 9 assists for a total of 17 points. She has already done better points wise than her rookie season.
Her efforts have lead her to be voted to be in her second NWHL All Star Game, this season.
She has definitely taken full advantage of having an expanded schedule. She is primed for many great things for the rest of the year. She possibly can have a legit run at the Isobel Cup. I look forward to what else she can bring to her team with 4 games remaining in the season!
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