Palsgrove’s Points

The Liberty women’s D1 hockey team is undoubtably the best team in the ACHA. The Lady Flames have won FIVE STRAIGHT ACHA national championships, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. One of the greatest strengths of this roster is its veterans. Between players like senior goaltender Amanda Storey, graduate center Yannick Truter, junior defender Sammy Peebles and graduate defender Aislyn Stretch, this Flames team is stacked up and down the ice. But as talented as the rest of the roster is, we’re here to focus on just one Flame, senior forward Brityn Fussy, and her case to be named the ACHA Player of the Year. 

Pure offensive dominance 

Through the Flames first seven games, Fussy already has NINE goals. Nine goals, in just seven games. 

That puts her at third in the entirety of the ACHA women’s D1 hockey in total goals scored, and she’s done it in two less games than Midland’s Callie Maguire and Penn State’s Katherine Willey, who are tied for first. 

Not only are the goals finding the back of the net and filling out the box score, they are also coming when the Flames need them most. In the Flames’ most recent performance against UMass Amherst, Fussy scored the entirety of the Flames’ three goals to give herself the hat trick, after scoring two goals the day prior, which means that five of her nine goals this season came in the same 48 hours. 

Some hockey players can be something of a one-trick-pony, with just one or two main strengths that they rely on to score, like a nasty wrister or plain speed. Fussy is most definitely not a one trick pony. She scored her five goals this weekend on a cross crease play that may have well been a shoot-out attempt, a sweet backhander that looked way too easy, a pair of wristers that moved blisteringly quick past the UMass tendie and a rocket from beyond the outer edge of a faceoff circle. She has the ability to kill a defense with her blazing downhill speed, and if that doesn’t work, she can rely on one of the best wristers in the ACHA.

The best player on the best offense in the ACHA 

Let’s switch sports for a quick second. If you follow the NBA, then you know how heated the conversation has become in recent years around the MVP trophy. There is one argument that keeps getting brought up, most recently with Jayson Tatum, and it’s the argument that the MVP should go to the best player on the best team. Well, if you follow that logic, then there is no better candidate then Fussy. This Flames team isn’t statically the best team in the ACHA at the moment; that honor goes to the trio of Indiana Tech, Adrian, and Midland, who all have a goal differential of 34 plus goals, but those numbers don’t mean anything, whereas the championship trophies tend to speak for themselves. 

Now the next question to be answered is “Is Fussy the best player on the Flames?” There are certainly arguments to be made for some of the other Flames. Truter, who was out for the Flames weekend series vs. UMass, was named the ACHA player of the year in 2022, and is a constant scoring threat while on the ice. Brielle Fussy, the junior forward and also the younger first of Brityn Fussy, scored the first two goals for the Flames this season in their opener vs. the Washington Pride. But neither Truter nor Brielle Fussy are showing the absolute dominance that Brityn is showing on the ice right now, where every time she touches the puck, it’s a panic for the defense.

Palsgrove is the asst. sports editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X

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