CORNER BROOK Every hockey player likes to be effective in their desire to help their team win. It comes with a passsion for the game.
Being able to help your hockey team without taking too many stupid penalties or doing things that put your team at a disadvantage is also high on the wish list.
It appears Jordan Richards has been able to do both and his efforts haven’t gone without fanfare.
The stocky forward and captain of the defending champion Colemans Western Kings has gotten the nod as the Most Gentlemanly and Effective Player for the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League regular season.
It’s hard to question his worthiness when you look at the numbers.
Richards, a St. Anthony native who has lived in the city for two years to hone his skills with the Kings, was key to leading his team to a third-place finish in the regular season of the five-franchise major midget program.
He finished third in league scoring with 43 points on 19 goals, four of them game-winners, and 24 helpers in 24 games. He played key minutes on the top line with last year’s rookie of the year Jordan King and Shannon Moores, while also spending a chunk of time on special teams.
But, more impressive, is the fact he was only assessed four minutes in penalties all season.
It seems he’s also made his linemates better as both King and Moores had impressive seasons on the offensive side of the puck with both among the top scorers in the league. King actually finished tied for the scoring race with 47 points with Jordan Maher of the Central IcePak but Maher had more goals, and Moores finished fourth overall with 37 points.
Kings goalie Ian Woolfrey, in his second season with the Kings, believes Richards was certainly deserving of the award.
“You always notice him on the ice,” Woolfrey said. “He’s just so effective he’s always making plays and scoring goals for us."
Woolfrey said Richards has been a great leader by doing what it takes to get the job done on a consistent basis.
“He really sets the example and he brings it every single game,” said Woolfrey, who will make his third-straight start of the series in Game 3 Friday night. “We could’t ask for more from him because he’s delivered every single game in and out all year.”
The Kings took a 2-0 series lead after winning two games on the road last weekend — both games by a 5-4 spread with Sunday’s game having to be settled in double overtime as Kings defender Jamie Penney scored the game-winning goal.
Richards had a goal and two helpers in Sunday’s marathon. He also dented the twine on one occasion in Saturday’s 5-4 victory in the series opener.
Woolfrey plans on holding up to his end of the bargain by keeping pucks out of the Kings cage. He expects Richards will be business as usual so he knows the leader will pave the way at home.
Game 3 is scheduled for Friday 8:30 p.m., while Game 4 is slotted for Saturday for 8:30 p.m., while Game 5, if necesssary, will be staged Sunday 1:30 p.m. at the Pepsi Centre.