It was a nightmare of a season for the National Lacrosse League’s Washington Stealth, and goalie Tyler Richards was front and center in that dream. It’s not that his play was horrible, it was more of a perfect storm of bad things in Washington that saw everyone’s play there slip a notch. The injury bug hit hard in Everett, and Richards was not spared. He missed 3 games and after the Stealth had been to the previous 2 Champion’s Cup games, winning it all in 2010, the Stealth were nowhere to be found in the 2012 playoffs.
The numbers for Richards during the regular season have never really been dominant, but when it came time for the playoffs, Richards was money. His 5-1 record over those 2 playoff seasons, with save percentages of .807 and .854 back that up. But 2012 was a different story as Richards was just 1 of many Stealth players to lose time to injury, resulting in a very forgettable 4-12 record after a 1-6 start to the season.
But whatever injury was bugging T-Rich during the NLL season appears to be in the past as he rebounded for a solid summer in the Western Lacrosse Association’s New Westminster Salmonbellies.
He got the bulk of the work with the ‘Bellies and was among the league leaders in minutes (936:17), wins (8), goals-against (8.39), saves (537) and save percentage (.807). Everyone slumps, whether it’s because of personal production or a slip in the team’s play. Or a combination of both.
Barely 27 years old, Richards already has a rep as one of the game’s top keepers and there’s little doubt the best is yet to come.
Fact: In 2012, Richards and his teams missed the playoffs for the first time in his 4 NLL seasons and the first time in his 5 WLA seasons.
Top 40 (last year’s rank in parenthesis)email@example.com or go to RochesterSports.com.
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