FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - After leading Miami to a 4-1-1 start to the season, sophomore forward Austin Czarnik and freshman forward Riley Barber have each earned honors from the CCHA for their strong play in the opening month of the year. Czarnik was named CCHA Player of the Month for October while Barber garnered CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Month for October, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced Thursday.
The honors are the first of the careers for both Barber and Czarnik while Czarnik was tabbed CCHA Rookie of the Month for November last year as a freshman. Barber was selected CCHA Rookie of the Week Oct. 22 in just his second week of college hockey.
Czarnik (Washington, Mich.) started his sophomore year where he left off from his freshman campaign, recording eight points on three goals and five assists in his first six games of the season. His eight points tie for the CCHA lead as do his five assists. He tallied a point in five of his six games with two multi-point games. Czarnik also had a positive +/- rating in four games and was never in the minus as he is +6 on the season, which ties for eighth nationally.
Czarnik handed out an assist on opening night in a 3-0 win over Colgate. He totaled four points against Providence Oct. 19-20, again dishing an assist on Miami's game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw Oct. 19. He also scored in the shootout, which Miami won. The next night, Oct. 20, he tied career highs of two goals and three points, just his second multi-goal game and fifth three-point game. He assisted on Miami's first goal of the game, then scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and recorded the game-winning goal 3:35 into overtime.
At Michigan Oct. 26, Czarnik recorded a short-handed goal, the third of his career, which tied the game at 2-2. The next night, he dished out a pair of assists, the first of which came on the first goal of the game, while the second one was a perfect two-line pass that set up a breakaway for the game-winning goal. Both of the assists vs. Michigan Oct. 27 were the primary assist.
Barber (Livonia, Mich.) had a stellar start to his Miami career, posting eight points in his first six games as a RedHawk with four goals and four assists. His four goals tie for the team lead, as do his eight points with Czarnik, which also tie for the CCHA lead. His 1.33 points per game is third among all rookies nationally while his four goals tie for second among all CCHA players. He tallied a point in five of six games during the month and is riding a five-game point streak after not tallying a point in his first collegiate game. Barber notched a pair of multi-point games in October as well.
Barber scored his first career goal Oct. 13 vs. Colgate, which came on the power play and was also his first career point. He then had a goal both nights against Providence Oct. 19-20 for a three-game goal streak with the goal Oct. 19 tying the game at 1-1. The next night he recorded a career-high three points, as he had a hand in three of Miami's four goals, including dishing out the first two assists of his career, earning him his CCHA weekly honor. He scored the game's first goal against the Friars Oct. 20 while his second assist of the night was the primary assist on Miami's overtime game-winner.
Barber added another assist Oct. 26 at Michigan, stealing the puck behind the net while short-handed and feeding Czarnik for a short-handed goal. The next night, Oct. 27, he tallied two points on a goal and an assist. His goal was the first of the game to put Miami on top while he assisted on the game-winning goal later in the contest.
The No. 4/4 RedHawks are back on the ice this weekend with a two-game CCHA series at No. 19 Ferris State. Puck drop both Friday and Saturday is set for 7:05 p.m.