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With the Hat Trick, Audra Richards is the VEDA Player of the Week

By Jane Norton, 11/26/18, 3:30PM EST

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Audra Richards, who had scored three goals in the Riveters’ 4-3 shootout victory over Connecticut on Sunday, has been named the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week.

Richards was exceptional from beginning to end – accounting for all of her team’s goals in regulation, including the tying goal in the third period to send the game to overtime.

“It felt good to score, but even better to get the win as a team,” said Richards, who is in her rookie season with the Riveters.

Richards, 24, has been a sensation since joining the Riveters. Her goal-scoring spurt in the NWHL should not be too big a surprise, because at the University of Maine she scored 15 goals as a sophomore and 14 as a senior – leading the Black Bears in goals and points in both seasons.

A native of Maplewood, Minnesota, Richards said she was inspired to play in the NWHL when the league expanded to her home state with the acquisition of the Whitecaps.

“The NWHL is truly doing something special for the sport that has defined me as a person my entire life,” she said. “The Riveters gave me an opportunity of a lifetime and I could not be happier.”

Richards’ head coach is just as happy for her decision to turn pro.

“Audra is deceptively fast, very strong on the puck, and has a nose for the net," said Randy Velischek.

The coach said he has enormous respect for Richards’ talent, dedication and positive demeanor. “She always has a smile on her face at the rink,” he said, “and we all love that.”

The Riveters and Whale meet again – but this time in Pittsburgh! – on Sunday at 3:30 pm at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. Tickets are available now at NWHL.zone/tickets.

Stay tuned each Monday for the announcement of the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week.