Player Profile: Michael Dutka, Florida Ice Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Michael Dutka started skating when he was a 5-year-old. One year later, he began playing hockey.

“One of my friends started taking ‘learn to skate’ classes when we were 5 years old and asked my parents if I could try. I loved it and started playing hockey the next year,” Dutka said.

The South Eastern Collegiate Conference named the 20-year-old as the player of week on Sept. 27 after an outstanding performance in two games against the Mississippi State Ice Dawgs.

The right wing Florida skater had a 14-point performance during the two games contributing to the team’s wins of 11-3 and 19-4 at the Jacksonville Ice and Sportsplex.

During the summer, he worked out with his old coaches in hopes of having a stronger season this year.

“Last season, I just felt like I wasn’t playing as well as I knew I could.”

Dutka has won two state championships, and wants to win a SECHC Championship and take the Ice Gators back to nationals before his college hockey career is over.

“This season, my goal is to continue to produce offensively and help bring the team back to the SECHC Championship,” Dutka added. “I’m very satisfied with what we’ve done this year and the direction the team is moving in.”

Dutka, a third year accounting major, doesn’t have any professional hockey-related goals beyond college. However, he wants to become a better player and continue helping the team stay focused on its goals.