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Richard has worked his way into key roles with Western Capitals

Summerside Western Capitals forward Marc Richard pursues the Edmundston Blizzard’s Evan White during a Maritime Junior Hockey League game at Eastlink Arena on Jan. 16.
Summerside Western Capitals forward Marc Richard pursues the Edmundston Blizzard’s Evan White during a Maritime Junior Hockey League game at Eastlink Arena on Jan. 16. - Jason Simmonds
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

One year ago forward Marc Richard was getting accustomed to playing junior A hockey.

“I don’t know what has gotten into me since the New Year, I guess it was a little bit of a resolution to keep my game up, get as many points as I can and get as much ice time as I can and just play a big role on our team.”

- Marc Richard

Now the 17-year-old son of Paul and Kim Richard of Clinton, near Kensington, finds himself on the ice in key situations for the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals.

“So far the season has been really good and the team has been doing well,” said Richard. “I believe I am playing a pretty good game, so there’s nothing more than I could ask for.”

Although Richard may be humble about his season, Caps head coach Billy McGuigan clearly explained the important role he is carrying in his sophomore season.

“Marc has had a great season for us,” emphasized McGuigan. “He’s really developed into a fantastic penalty killer and I think he’s one of the best penalty killers in the league. 

“He’s got a little bit of power-play time on the second unit and they have been contributing a good bit. He’s playing a little more of a grittier style than he has in the past and he’s really starting to find his range here.”

Especially at the offensive end. 

Richard entered Thursday’s road game against the Fredericton Red Wings having scored in five of the Caps’ last seven games and had at least a point in six of those games dating back to Dec. 31. The Caps entered that contest on top of the 12-team league at 31-5-1 (won-lost-overtime losses).

“I don’t know what has gotten into me since the New Year,” said a smiling Richard. “I guess it was a little bit of a resolution to keep my game up, get as many points as I can and get as much ice time as I can and just play a big role on our team,” said Richard, a Grade 11 student at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside.

“Last year was a little bit different than this year,” said Richard, the 10th overall selection in the 2018 MHL Entry Draft. “This year, I am getting a lot of penalty-killing time and even getting some power-play time. 

“I am definitely more comfortable and a little bit more confident. Billy has given me lots of chances, so I am taking those opportunities and doing the best I can.”

Along with his offensive production and contributions on special teams, McGuigan said Richard is contributing in other areas as well.

“He’s adding energy to our club, he’s playing more physical and he’s taken on a way bigger role of late,” added McGuigan. “He’s a super kid, comes to work every day, practises hard, he’s a great skater and things are starting to pay off for him.”

Penalty-killing partner

Summerside Western Capitals forward chases a loose puck during a Maritime Junior Hockey League game at Eastlink Arena earlier this season. - Jason Simmonds
Summerside Western Capitals forward chases a loose puck during a Maritime Junior Hockey League game at Eastlink Arena earlier this season. - Jason Simmonds

Richard and third-year forward Josh MacDonald have been paired together on the penalty kill. 

“Marc is great killing penalties with,” said MacDonald. “He’s super fast and makes my job a lot easier. 

“He’s the first one up on the forecheck, he has some wheels and he’s not afraid to carry the puck out of the zone and create some offence. We both have the mindset now that when we create a turnover that we are taking a couple of strides up the ice and before we would just dump it down because we found we brush by their D sometimes and create some offence, even on the penalty kill.”

Richard and MacDonald have followed similar paths to the Caps, both making the jump to junior A after one year of major midget hockey. They also are roommates on the road and have played on a line with Zach Thususka most of the season.

“We have spent a lot of time on the ice together,” said Richard. “We kind of have an idea of where we are going to be before we are there.”

Jason.simmonds@journalpioneer.com
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Marc Richard’s statistics the last three years:

2019-20
Maritime Junior Hockey League: Summerside Western Capitals
Regular season – 37 games, 11 goals, 13 assists, 24 points.
Note: Statistics do not include the Western Capitals’ game at Fredericton on Thursday.


Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Cape Breton Eagles
Regular season – 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points.


2018-19
Summerside Western Capitals
Regular season – 49 games, 8 goals, 11 assists, 19 points.
Playoffs – 10 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point.


Cape Breton Eagles
Regular season – 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points.


2017-18
New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League: Kensington Wild
Regular season – 35 games, 9 goals, 20 assists, 29 points.
Playoffs – 5 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points.


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