C.J. Duffy turned aside 32 shots to backstop Westfield to the Union County Cup while earning Tournament Most Valuable Player honors in a 3-2 triumph over Summit in the UCT final on Jan. 20 at Warinanco Rink in Roselle.
The victory was a monumental one for Westfield, handing the second-seeded Blue Devils its second Union Cup in school history and first in five years over the top-seeded and defending champion Hilltoppers.
For his efforts, C.J. Duffy was selected as The HockeyClan/Buttendz New Jersey State Player of the Month for January.
“C.J. is a kid that has earned it since this summer,” Westfield coach Joe Bertucci said. “He was our JV goalie last year and this summer he put in a ton of work in the off-season — off the ice, on the ice — and comes every day prepared, focused and determined. That level of competitiveness puts him above all else.”
Duffy appeared in all nine games for Westfield during the month of January, going 5-3-1, including wins over Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Summit in the UCT, to sport a sparkling 2.11 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
“Now that it’s sunk in a bit it’s great to win, it’s great to get another county championship for the program,” Duffy said. “But now that state playoffs are around the corner and we’re in the midst of conference playoffs, we have bigger goals in mind starting tomorrow with another game against Summit. Right now, that’s all we’re thinking about but like I said, the county championship was a great time and something special to win it for our seniors.”
After overcoming a minor injury, Duffy is ready for the stretch run beginning with the McInnis Cup semifinals in what will be the fourth meeting of the season between the two Union County public powerhouses when the puck drops at 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 13 at Warinanco Rink in Roselle.
“I’m just about 100 percent,” Duffy said. “For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with our trainers and getting outside help to get better. Right now, all we’re thinking about is Summit tomorrow.”
Since seizing the reigns in between the pipes, Duffy has a career .917 save percentage to go along with 14 wins under his belt. This season, Duffy is surrendering a stingy 2.05 goals-per-game for Westfield which enters the post-season riding a three-game winning streak.
Written by John Christian Hageny / @JCCSPORTS
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: C.J. Duffy stood tall recording 32 saves to lead Westfield to a 3-2 upset over Summit in the 2018 Union Cup on Jan. 20 at Warinanco Rink in Roselle. (Tom Smith/TSPImages)
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