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Boys Hockey: Richards debuts with hat trick

Laker sophomore Jon Richards blasts the first of three goals in his varsity debut against Achiever Academy Thursday night. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Detroit Lakes 6  Achiever Academy 6

It was quite the varsity debut for Detroit Lakes sophomore center Jon Richards, who registered five points in the Lakers’ comeback 6-6 tie in the season opener against visiting Achiever Academy Thursday.

But it wasn’t just the amount of points Richards had, it was the timing of them, as well.

Richards’ back to back special team goals – the first on a power play and the second on a short-handed series – ignited a rally in which the Lakers notched four goals after trailing 5-2 heading into the third period.

“That power play goal we got off a major by Achiever Academy, was important and we were able to start pounding their net in the third period,” said DL head coach Chris Denardo. “We just had to make adjustments to their game, because they were so fast in the neutral zone and forecheck.”

Richards’ linemate, junior winger Ryan DeConcini took over from there, as he answered an Ace goal with back-to-back tallies of his own to tie the game 6-6.

With the Richards’ line scoring all the goals, it certainly was a terrific start to what could be a very potent scoring line.

“Jon has a good power game and he fired a lot of pucks at the net,” Denardo said. “Wilson (Lysford) is getting back into the swing of things after being injured last year. It almost couldn’t get any better of a start than it did.”

Richards’ first of three goals came at the 15:00 mark of the first period, after the sophomore center unleashed a furious shot from the left side, which easily found its mark past Ace goalie Cameron Madrid on DL’s first power play opportunity.

But Achiever Academy, which is a second-year prep school program base out of Eagan, notched three consecutive goals by Baron Thompson and two by Will Mix.

Senior forward Wilson Lysford continued the first-period scoring barrage for DL, as each of Richards and senior defenseman Michael Herrmann assisted to pull DL to within 3-2.

Mix notched his hat trick 6:30 into the third period, while Travis Marsh added a power play tally to put Achiever Academy up 5-2.

Laker junior goalie MacKenzie Steele settled in running the third period, allowing one goal out of 10 shots, while DL controlled play in the final period by outshooting the Aces 19-10.

“Mack (Steele) had a good game, all of their goals were good goals,” Denardo said. “They had three backdoor goals, which I was concerned with because our defense was allowing their backdoor guys in.”

DL outshot Achiever Academy by a total of 44-38.

“In the third period, we finally got our forecheck going and that was because the guys started paying attention to the details,” Denardo said.

Richards added two assists, as did Lysford, while other assists were dished out by DeConcini, Herrmann and senior center Casey Paskey.

The Lakers were 3-8 in power plays, while the Aces were 2-5.

DL will host Fergus Falls Tuesday for a 7:15 p.m. start. 

Achiever Academy at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Nov. 21

Aces       3  2  1  0 – 6

Lakers    2  0  4  0 – 6

1st Period -- Scoring: DL - Richards Goal (power play) (Deconcini, Lysford) 2:00; ACHIEV - Thompson Goal (power play) 6:11; ACHIEV - Madrid Goal (even strength) (Sanchez) 10:25; ACHIEV - Mix Goal (even strength) (Martin) 13:16; DTRTLK - Lysford Goal (even strength) (Richards, Herrmann) 14:54. Penalties: Mix, ACHIEV (Cross-Checking, Minor, 2 min) 0:39; Bremseth, DTRTLK (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 2:22; Morgan, ACHIEV (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 11:07. Goalie Changes: None.

2nd Period -- Scoring: ACHIEV - Mix Goal (even strength) (Thompson) 6:30; ACHIEV - Marsh Goal (power play) (Sprague) 10:27. Penalties: Butler, ACHIEV (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 4:08; Paskey, DTRTLK (Holding, Minor, 2 min) 9:12; Sanchez, ACHIEV (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 15:30; Parrish, ACHIEV (Checking to Head/Neck, Major, 5 min) 16:43. Goalie Changes: None.

3rd Period -- Scoring: DTRTLK - Richards Goal (power play) 2:33; DTRTLK - Richards Goal (short handed) (Lysford) 4:05; ACHIEV - Martin Goal (even strength) (Mix) 9:27; DTRTLK - Deconcini Goal (even strength) (Richards) 13:01; DTRTLK - Deconcini Goal (power play) (Paskey) 16:31. Penalties: Hallisey, DTRTLK (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 3:52; Morgan, ACHIEV (Charging, Minor, 2 min) 5:54; Deconcini, DTRTLK (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 10:01; Sprague, ACHIEV (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 10:40; Nelson, DTRTLK (Kneeing, Major, 5 min) 13:45; Martin, ACHIEV (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 15:11. Goalie Changes: None.

OT1 Period -- Scoring: None. Penalties: None. Goalie Changes: None.

Shots on goal – DL 14 11 19 0 – 44AA 15 13 10 0 – 38

Saves – DL (MacKenzie Steele) 32AA (Cameron Madrid) 38

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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