With his stellar play on the field, the Stealth Mobile Player of the Month was Washington Stealth goaltender, Tyler Richards. The award is voted on monthly by Stealth fans. The award was presented to Richards following the Stealth’s April 9th home game by Stealth Mobile member Molly Perry, who was presented in return with a Stealth jersey signed by Richards. Previous months’ winners were Lewis Ratcliff (January) and Rhys Duch (February).
In the month of March, Richards played in all three Stealth games, earning wins in two of those contests. During that span, he allowed just 33 goals on 156 shots for a save percentage of .788. Richards has played in ten games for the Washington Stealth this year, compiling a record of five wins and five losses. He is second in the NLL with a .792 save percentage, allowing only 111 goals while making 423 saves on 534 shot attempts.
We caught up with Richards to give fans some more insight on the Stealth Mobile March Player of the Month, presented by Glassybaby.
1. What is the best part of a home game?
TR: For me it’s the crowd. I love the feeling of having the fans cheer for us as we are being introduced or making a great play.
2. What kind of advantage do the fans give the team?
TR: Lacrosse is a game of streaks and when things are going good the crowd makes you feel like nothing can stop you. On the flip side when they aren’t going as planned, a building like ours seems to pick the guys up and give us the boost to get going again.
3. What would it mean to host at least one home playoff game?
TR: With the playoffs being single elimination, anytime you can play at home you are the favorite to move on. The NLL playoffs are so tough and require everything to go right to win a championship that even just one game at home is such an advantage.
4. What is the toughest part about playing on the road?
TR: First let me say I love playing on the road. Having thousands of people cheering against you drives me to play my best. As for the toughest part, I think it is trying to find a good place to eat! I love to eat and there is nothing worse than a bad meal!
5. What has been the key to a great season in net for you?
TR: The season has had it challenges for me, but I think the key for me has been determination. I want to feel the same feeling from last May again.
6. Do you have a pregame ritual and if so, what is it?
TR: One of the routines I have is that I show up to the arena about 3 hours early and will go shoot balls with my Ipod on for about an hour usually with Craig Conn.
7. What is your favorite part about lacrosse and the NLL?
TR: I love the competition and battling with a group of guys who would go through a wall for each other. The feeling of winning a game can only be rivaled by a few things in life.
8. How is your play affected by the tempo of the game?
TR: I think that the tempo plays a large part of my play. There are times where you don’t see a shot for 3 or 4 minutes and you can easily lose focus. When that happens chances are you get scored on and you need to refocus very quickly or you will end up riding the pine.
9. What was the hardest part about missing the first part of the season?
TR: First I think it was not only hard on me but it was hard on [fellow goaltender] Matt Roik as well. I wasn’t injured enough to go on the IR and we don’t have a third goalie so it put a tremendous amount of pressure on him to perform that no goalie needs to feel. As for me, the hardest part was being on the bench and going to practice and shoot around knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to contribute. You try to do what you can but I am more of an action guy rather than a talking guy so at times I really felt useless.
10. How did missing that time effect your play when you got back on the rug?
TR: I think it affected me in the 4th quarter the most for the first few games. I found that I wore out a little quicker as I couldn’t really do much while I was hurt. I trained really hard leading up to the season and then the set back really hurt my conditioning.
11. What else do you enjoy doing besides lacrosse?
TR: I really enjoy playing cards, Hockey and golfing. It’s tough to find time to fit all of that in between work and lacrosse, but I usually find a way.
Stealth Mobile provides fans with an interactive experience with the ability to obtain exclusive game updates, hear messages from Stealth players and coaches, partake in contests to win Stealth merchandise and experiences and select songs to be played during Stealth home games all from your phone.
Stealth Mobile will be giving away a pair of 2012 Stealth Season Tickets to one lucky fan this week. To be entered in the drawing, join Stealth Mobile today by texting ‘STEALTH’ to 881188.