Senior Austin Ortega had 10 points in December to lead the NCHC in scoring for the month.
Courtesy: Mark Kuhlmann

Ortega Named NCHC Player of the Month

Omaha Athletics | January 03, 2017
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Omaha hockey senior Austin Ortega was named the NCHC's Player of the Month for December.

It is the second monthly award for Ortega who picked up the same hardware in December of 2014.

Ortega led the NCHC in scoring in December with five goals and five assists for 10 points in six games.  By virtue of that production, he moved atop the NCHC scoring chart for all games played with 27 points. 

Ortega opened the month with an assist in a 3-3 tie at Wisconsin on Dec. 2.  The following night, he registered his first career hat trick, added an assist, was +3 and had three shot blocks in a 7-4 win against the Badgers.  He earned NCHC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance at Wisconsin.  The following weekend, he had an assist and was +1 in a 3-1 win at St. Cloud State before being held off the board the next night in a 4-2 loss, Omaha’s only setback of the month. 

Ortega returned from the holiday break with the game-winning goal and a +3 rating in a 4-1 win over Lake Superior State.  With the goal, he tied the NCAA record with his 23rd career game-winning goal.  The native of Escondido, Calif. finished the month with a goal, two assists and a +1 rating in a 5-3 win over the Lakers. 

In addition to leading the NCHC in points, he is tied for first with 14 goals, sits in a four-way tie for fourth with 13 assists, is tied with teammates David Pope and Tyler Vesel for first with 11 power play points and is in a five-way tie for second with three game winners.

Ortega and the No. 18 Mavericks return to action on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6-7, when they host No. 7 North Dakota.  Both games begin at 7:07 p.m. at Baxter Arena.

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