FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - For the second time this year, Miami University freshman defenseman Matthew Caito has been named CCHA Gladiator® Defenseman of the Week, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced Monday. He is the first CCHA player to win the honor twice this season.
Caito (Coto de Caza, Calif.) continued to be a force in the RedHawk lineup, helping Miami sweep Bowling Green over the weekend. He handed out three assists in the two games while posting a +2 rating. Caito played on Miami's top penalty kill unit as the RedHawks went 7-for-7 on the PK against the Falcons, including killing two five-minute majors, while he blocked six shots. He was on the ice for four of Miami's five goals on the weekend and was not on the ice for either of BGSU's tallies in the games.
In Friday's 2-1 win, he assisted on both Miami goals, both of which came on the power play, including the game-winner. It was his first career multi-assist contest and third career multi-point game. He also blocked a game-high six shots in the contest while helping the 'Hawks go 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Caito was named the game's No. 3 star on Friday. In Saturday's 3-1 win, he assisted on Miami's first goal of the game, which put the RedHawks up 1-0 early in the first period. He put two shots on goal and had a +2 rating in the contest, as well. Caito is now riding a career-long three-game point streak and has six points in his last five games.
Caito picked up his first CCHA Gladiator® Defenseman of the Week honor Dec. 3 after a two-assist outing at Alaska. Five different RedHawks have now combined to win eight CCHA weekly honors, as sophomore forwards Blake Coleman and Austin Czarnik have each won CCHA Postgame® Offensive Player of the Week while freshman forward Riley Barber has garnered CCHA Gongshow® Rookie of the Week three times and freshman goaltender Jay Williams has received it once.
Caito and the No. 3/4 RedHawks remain at home this weekend when Miami hosts No. 20 Alaska in a two-game CCHA series Friday and Saturday at Steve Cady Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:35 p.m. Friday while Saturday's game, which is Skate with the 'Hawks Night, is at 7:05 p.m.