January 11, 2023

With Richmond Contributing at Both Ends of the Ice, Hun Boys’ Hockey Edges Pingry 3-2 to Start 2023

By Bill Alden

After being part of the supporting cast last winter in his junior season for the Hun School boys’ hockey team, Scott Richmond was determined to assume a bigger role in his final campaign with the program.

“Last year I played like two shifts a game,” said Richmond. “In the offseason, I got to work and lost some weight and worked on my skating and stuff.”

That work has paid dividends as Richmond moved to defenseman from forward to shore up the team’s blue line and has also carved out a key role on the power play.

Last Wednesday as Hun defeated the Pingry School 3-2, Richmond contributed at both ends of the ice, tallying a power play goal in the third period and helping to spearhead a solid defensive effort by the Raiders.

While Richmond and his teammates were happy to get the win to start 2023, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process, he acknowledged they had to shake off some rust.

“We had two practices off of break, we didn’t really have a chance to get our systems going and chemistry back,” said Richmond. “The win feels good, we were a little sloppy today but we came out on top. We kept trying, we knew we had the chances. We were able to find the back of the net at some point.” 

With the game deadlocked at 1-1 early in the third period, Richmond found the back of the net with some fancy stickwork as he redirected the puck past the Pingry goalie.

“I saw my boy Ryan Levesque and I gave him a little nod,” recalled Richmond. “He saw that and he shot it and I got the rebound.”

Hun extended the lead on an empty net goal by Brendan Marino, but the Blues battled back to score in the waning moments of the contest and pressed forward until the final horn.

“The last two minutes, I was a little worried,” said Richmond. “They had like 10 shots on one shift. I think the whole team was worried but we have [Stephen] Chen back there. It is definitely a good way to start 2023.”

Richmond has enjoyed getting his shot to make a bigger contribution.

“I feel on the power play I have a good role, it is working out well for the team,” said Richmond. “This is my first year playing defense, I think I am doing well with it. I do make some sloppy plays back there, I am trying my best. I like the fit. It is my last year playing so I definitely want to make the most of it.”

Hun head coach Ian McNally credits Richmond with making the most out of his final campaign with the Raiders.

Scott has been great; he just shows his stick and they just hit it towards him and he gets it and shoots on goal,” said McNally, who also got a goal and an assist from Justin LaPlante against Pingry. “That is the third goal he has scored just like that. He is playing half the game, we need him on defense. Last year, we had guys that didn’t play that much and he was one of those guys. He willingly jumped into this, saying sure I will try defense. It has changed the whole outlook of his year and he is running with it.”

As Hun hit the ice for its first game since December 16, McNally liked the way his squad jumped into the new year.

“I think the mood was just fine, everyone was excited to be back,” said McNally. “I thought we were going to build every period. When you come back on fresh ice in the third, everybody is in a good mood. And then when we got up 2-1, I thought ‘here we go.’”

With Pingry making a late charge, senior goalie Chen stood tall, ending up with 25 saves, including some point-blank stops.

“We obviously needed him tonight. Not that you want to play for that, but he has the ability to do that,” said McNally. “He can weather that storm and once he makes that first stop, we can try and help him out there. You don’t want to plan for it but it is nice to have. There are years where you don’t have that and it is hard to win games. He has been great, he is wearing the letter (as a captain) and he showed a little bit of fire too.”

Although the Hun offense didn’t fire on all cylinders against Pingry, coming through with a victory was a good step forward.

“I think a couple of those guys would have liked to have more offensive opportunities,” said McNally, whose team fell 5-3 to St. Augustine last Monday to move to 6-7 and hosts Portledge School (N.Y.) on January 11 before playing at Bergen Catholic on January 12. “We didn’t have that many scoring chances in the end but the fact that we won and we are back together, that is good.”

Richmond, for his part, believes that Hun will get it together as things pick up over the rest of January.

“We have two practices for the rest of the week and we should be good to go,” said Richmond. “We have three games next week so that is going to get us going.”