Today the Riveters announced the signing of forward Audra Richards for the 2018-19 season. Richards is the sixth signing for the defending champions and the only first-year player on the current roster.
Richards scored 45 goals and picked up 25 assists for 70 points in 132 games for the Black Bears. She led Maine in scoring as a sophomore and a senior — 15 goals and 14 goals, respectively. At Maine, Richards joins Brittany Ott and recently retired Harrison Browne as Black Bears alum to play in the NWHL. Richards and Browne played three seasons together at Maine.
The league’s expansion into the State of Hockey lured the former University of Maine standout to women’s professional hockey. “Seeing the NWHL come to my home state of Minnesota made me realize I wasn’t ready for my hockey career to come to an end, so I’m incredibly excited and honored to join the Riveters,” said Richards in the league press release.
Coach Audra Richards playing against Team Korea!— hastingsgirlshockey (@hastgirlshockey) January 12, 2017
2 2 +5 on the day. pic.twitter.com/uI3yo63eyD
Since receiving her degree from Maine in 2016, Richards has taught elementary Physical Education in Minnesota and coached varsity girls’ hockey for Hastings High School. Being around hockey as a coach and recreational player also contributed to Richards joining the Riveters. “Each game and practice reminds me how much I miss meaningful competitive hockey,” said Richards, “and it gets me more and more excited to be part of a professional league.”
Richards will have the chance to make her pro debut in Minnesota for the Riveters weekend series against the Whitecaps on Oct. 6 and 7 at TRIA Rink.