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Prep Talk Male Athlete of the Week: Matthew Gasuik of Nichols

It can be difficult for a hockey player from Nichols to receive a fair amount of attention. The Vikings play their road games out of Western New York for the most part, and that cuts down on the opportunities for publicity.

Still, Matthew Gasuik is enjoying a fine season for Nichols. He’s coming off a week in which he had five goals and three assists in four games for the Vikings. It’s part of a fine senior season for the left winger.

Gasuik will take a bow Wednesday night during a salute to the senior class. Here he takes another one as the Prep Talk Male Athlete of the Week.

Position: Left Wing

Uniform Number: 11

Twitter: @mgazuik11

Coach Jamie Printz on Matthew: “Matthew is in his third year on our Prep team and he has established himself as one of the top players in our league. He has been a leader on and off the ice, and his on-ice production has been a direct result of his work to become better. He has taken a big step on the ice, but he has taken a bigger step as a captain and leader. He plays a tough, gritty, fearless game, but he brings a high skill level to that game. He has great vision, and he has developed a knack for scoring goals from all areas this season. He is a big piece of our success, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

How has your season gone so far? “Team record is 26-18-7. My CISAA League Stats: 14 Games, 10 goals, 11 assists, 21 poins. Total Stats: 52 GP, 27-31-58.”

Highlight of athletic career so far: “The honor of being named captain of our team this year. It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid.”

Favorite thing about my sport: “Getting the opportunity to play for my school. I think it adds a whole different meaning and passion for the game.”

Favorite teammate and why: All of my teammates. We have really a tight group that has the opportunity to do some special things as we come into the final stretch.”

Toughest opponent and why: “Our rival St. Andrews. We have tied them and lost to them by 1, twice this year, every game is a nail-biter. I hope to see them in the playoffs this year.”

WNY athlete I looked up to and why: “Andrew Poturalski. He has always been someone I have looked up to and have learned many things from on and off the ice. He leads by example and his work ethic is unmatched. He has proven that he can succeed at any level of play. (Prep, USHL, D1, AHL)”

Pro/college athlete I admire now and why: “Brad Marchand. I like to model my game after him. He’s undersized but plays way bigger then he is. He is a skillful player with a gritty side to him as well.”

When I’m not playing or practicing my sport, I’m: “Watching Friday Night Lights or Dexter, or doing homework.”

What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): “CISAA Playoffs, the State Tournament and finishing off the year strongly academically and receiving my diploma from the most prestigious high school in Buffalo.”

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Attention, coaches: If one of your athletes has an outstanding week, you can nominate him or her for Prep Talk Athlete of the Week. Send an email outlining the person’s achievements by Saturday night, and we’ll consider him or her for the week’s honor.

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