The Oswego State Laker fans sit on the edge of their seats as the opposing team makes their way to the home net. David Richer, junior goalie of the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team, makes another impressive save. “Richer, Richer, Richer,” the fans chant and bow to the French goalie.
After spending his first year with Oswego State as a redshirt, not only has Richer gained popularity with the fans, but he has also become a respectable member of the team.
“Anybody that can sit through that [redshirted], and be a positive member of the team, that’s a credit to him,” Oswego State men’s ice hockey head coach Ed Gosek said. “Having to skate on his own and workout and so forth on his own, I think that’s a testimony to his character.”
Not only did Richer struggle with being redshirted his first year, he was also the farthest he has been away from home.
“There’s like five or six times during that year that I asked myself, ‘should I quit hockey,’” Richer said. “I really thought about just going home and give up on everything.”
For Richer, being close to his family helped him through the adversities of his first year. His family was a huge support system for him, no matter what he decided to do.
“They always found the words to tell me that if you want to come back, that’s fine,” Richer said. “‘Just make sure that’s what you want to do.’”
And it was.
After questioning his hockey career at Oswego many times, Richer knew this is where he wanted to be. After his first year and being out of the redshirt, he was able to become more involved with his team.
“Being redshirted his first year definitely made it harder on him to be a part of the team,” Oswego State men’s ice hockey captain Devin Campbell said. “But he really has made himself a huge part of the team on and off the ice.”
Being able to finally play for Oswego was significant for Richer. After starting hockey late, at 10-years-old, he knew that this was the only sport for him.
“It was the only thing for me,” Richer said. “When I discovered hockey, it was just hockey all the time.”
Before playing for Oswego, Richer had also spent time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playing for Sherbrooke Phoenix. After being cut, Richer struggled again with whether or not hockey was for him.
“It’s the major junior in Sherbrooke,” Richer said. “It was really what I wanted to do. It was my dream.”
Richer then spent his time in Ontario with the Kingston Voyageurs and after that, found his place with Oswego.
With his third year with Oswego State underwraps, Richer has become a role model for the community and his team.
“He’s not one to pat himself on the back or talk about himself,” Gosek said. “Very humble, very caring young man.”
After a bad game, Richer said he is hard on himself, but at the end of the day, he cannot focus on the bad games.
“We’re lucky to be here,” Richer said. “Every time I start thinking about this, I’m like I can’t think about those games and my stats and everything, because at the end of the day, you just have to win games.”
Being as competitive and serious as Richer is, Gosek said that is a quality his team enjoys and respects.
But, even off the ice, Richer is someone that his team enjoys being around.
“Off the ice he is a bit reserved and quiet,” Campbell said. “But definitely has a good sense of humor.”
Gosek said that his bond with his team only became stronger because of his first year in the redshirt.
“Having to sit out a year redshirt, he understood that he loved the game,” Gosek said. “He loved being around the guys.”
From going from the goalie no one knew about to becoming a fan favorite, Richer said he is lucky to have the fans he does at Oswego.
“It’s pretty special,” Richer said. “I’m so focused in the game that sometimes I’ll just make a save and hear my name. I get the goosebumps.”