Merrimack Women’s Ice Hockey Player Named Hockey Humanitarian Award Finalist

Raice Szott ’24, a defender, is one of five finalists for the prestigious national award that recognizes a college hockey player who goes above and beyond to not only positively impact their team, but also their community.
Photo of Raice Szott ’24 sitting in the stands at Lawler Rink.
In addition to playing on the women's hockey team, Raice Szott ’24 helped establish the Merrimack College Women’s Ice Hockey Community Service Committee, which has led to several volunteer and fundraising opportunities in the Merrimack Valley, among other public service initiatives.

Raice Szott ’24, a defender on the Merrimack College women’s ice hockey team, comes from a hockey-crazed family in Alberta, Canada. Her father Tim and older brother Chance, who instilled a love of hockey in Szott, have already bought their tickets for the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four this April in Minnesota.

But now Szott’s family will need to add the Hockey Humanitarian Award ceremony in St. Paul to their Frozen Four weekend itinerary as she was named on Feb. 12 as one of five finalists for the prestigious national award.

“It is a huge honor,” Szott said. “But a special part of it is it’s not just about me. It’s about the people who have helped me get here like my family, my professors, coaches and teammates at Merrimack, and my teachers, coaches and teammates from when I was growing up.”

Now in its 29th season, the Hockey Humanitarian Award recognizes a college hockey player who not only positively impacts their team, but also their community. This is the second year in a row Szott was nominated for the award.

“When I nominated Raice for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, I did so based not only on all of her involvement in our community, but also on who she is as a person,” said Merrimack College Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Erin Hamlen. “Raice’s impact on our team goes beyond her athletic talents. She is a consummate teammate, a quiet but confident leader and she sets high standards for herself and her fellow athletes. Raice also jumps at every opportunity to lead within our community at Merrimack, whether it is starting programs to mentor young girls on behalf of the College or working within the athletic department to help support all of our teams.”

Female hockey players at a ceremonial faceoff

The all-encompassing nature of Szott’s community service is impressive enough, having developed, coordinated and participated in several events and initiatives that support the sick, the less fortunate, the differently abled, the young and the old.

Add that dedication to service to the demands of a business administration major and being a Division I athlete, and inevitably the question of “How does she do it all?” comes up.

“When you are passionate about something and love what you are doing, you make time for it,” said Szott. “And it’s not just me doing it all. The people I work with, like my teammates and coaches, their support really makes a difference.”

Szott’s service work while at Merrimack includes the launch of the Merrimack College Women’s Ice Hockey Community Service Committee, which has led to several volunteer and fundraising opportunities in the Merrimack Valley. She has also coordinated fundraisers to support local nonprofits, first responders and the Ellie Fund, a foundation that assists men and women battling breast cancer.

She has also leveraged her love of hockey to support important causes, such as planning a teddy bear toss at a Merrimack women’s ice hockey home game to benefit Toys for Tots and working with fellow Merrimack female student-athletes to create an on-campus program dedicated to helping young girls build confidence through ice skating and mentoring.

Along with her passion for hockey, Szott credits her family for teaching her the value of service to the community.

“My family, as well as growing up Catholic, emphasized giving back and helping others when you can,” said Szott.

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