MU hockey players receive honors for January successes

Ruairidh Fraser, Contributing Writer

Mercyhurst’s Emma Nuutinen and Joe Duszak have been recognized for their achievements over the past month by being named College Hockey America (CHA) Player of the Month and Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) player of the month, respectively.

Duszak was also named as the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) Player of the Month. These awards cover the month of January, where both Lakers had great success on the ice.
Nuutinen posted a career-high five-point game against Colgate, which was also her second ever career hat trick. Her total points score for the month was nine – comprised of four goals and five assists.

“Personally I have had my best season so far in college,” Nuutinen said. “Last year was a slow start, so I am very happy.”

Nuutinen leads the Lakers in terms of goals scored with 12 and a total of 21 points for the season. The women’s ice hockey team currently has a record of 12-12-3 for the season. “The award was a nice recognition, but as a team we still have a lot to improve in order to reach our goals this year,” Nuutinen said. The Mercyhurst women next travel to Penn State to face the Nittany Lions on Feb. 15 and 16.

For the men’s team, Duszak was the winner of multiple awards as he was named the AHA player of the month before being named the HCA player of the month the next day. It was an extremely successful month for Duszak, a defensemen, who recorded points in all eight of Mercyhurst’s games throughout the month for a total of 17 points. Duszak scored eight and assisted nine, including a first collegiate hat trick.

Over the month, he was named as AHA defensive player of the week three times and recorded points in 12 consecutive games. The men’s team currently sits at 13-14-3 and is back in action on Feb. 15 against Army after a bye week this past weekend. Duszak’s second award was announced Tuesday as he claimed the prestigious award and is a testament to the defensemen’s outstanding play over the last month.

Despite these successes, Duzsak is keen to see the team succeed on the home stretch of the season.

“This season has been up and down so far,” said Duszak. “So we’re hoping that during this last stretch we can really find our footing and go into the play-offs on a high note.”

The Lakers last played against Canisius College in a home and home series winning one and drawing the second.