Coming out of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, Tyler Richardson’s experience on the ice is helping the younger players on West Virginia’s club hockey team.
Richardson, a senior at WVU, started playing hockey at a young age like most hockey players, starting out at 4-years-old playing street hockey. Richardson would then begin playing ice hockey at 7-years-old, joining the Little Flyers program and honing his craft in the sport.
After playing for the Little Flyers for about four years, he would then move up to the Junior Flyers program around 10-years-old.
"The most fun I ever had was with the Junior Flyers," Richardson said.
By the time he turned 10, Richardson was already gaining valuable experience on the ice, which helped sharpen his skills.
One person who was aside Richardson while he was playing hockey was his mother, who would work very hard and even put in extra hours.
"She was working hard so I could play hockey," Richardson said.
Richardson recalls that his favorite hockey memory was when he played in the Nike Bauer Tournament in Chicago, where his team played against a team from Russia.
"They continuously rolled through their lines," Richardson said.
Growing up just outside of Philadelphia, Richardson became a Flyers fan and one of his favorite players on the team was defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
"I loved the way he plays and the intensity he brings to the ice," Richardson said.
Richardson would go on to attend high school at Clearview Regional High School, but he was unable to play hockey until his senior year due to the cost of travel hockey. For the time being, he would referee hockey games for a few years so that he could save money for travel hockey expenses.
After high school, Richardson decided to attend WVU and study for a degree in exercise physiology. He also had a lot of friends from New Jersey who were attending WVU, which also influenced his decision to come to Morgantown.
"I loved the atmosphere here," Richardson said.
Tyler would play his first two years for WVU’s Division II and Division III club hockey teams until his junior year. Richardson came out for a tryout for the division one team and was successful and has been there ever since then.
"Work your way up," Richardson said. "It will take time, but you will eventually find out where you belong."
Richardson and the Mountaineers will be back in action at 8:10 p.m. Friday at John Carroll.