OXFORD, Ohio - For the second straight week, the Miami Athletes of the Week connected by Frontier Communications are ice hockey freshman forward Riley Barber and basketball senior forward Kirsten Olowinski as the duo once again performed well during the week of Dec. 10-16.
Barber (Livonia, Mich.) totaled three points, on a goal and two assists, to lead Miami to a five-point weekend at Ohio State. In Friday's 1-1 tie/shootout win, Barber set up the game-tying goal on the power play 12:43 into the third period that pulled Miami even. He fed teammate Curtis McKenzie in the slot from behind the net to earn the RedHawks a tie. In Saturday's 3-1 win, Barber notched a goal and an assist for his sixth multi-point game of the season. Barber handed out the primary assist on Miami's game-winning goal in the second period, which came on the power play. He then scored a goal of his own in the final minute to secure the win with an empty-net tally. Barber earned the No. 3 star of the game for his efforts. He finished the weekend with eight shots on goal, blocked a shot and posted a +1 rating.
Barber leads the CCHA with 22 points at the midway point of the season despite being just a freshman. His 14 assists also share the CCHA lead with sophomore teammate Austin Czarnik. Barber's 1.22 points per game are first nationally among freshmen and 19th in the NCAA overall. Barber is currently in Tarrytown, N.Y. participating at the U.S. National Junior Team training camp, where he is looking to earn a final roster spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013. The camp moves to Finland on Dec. 19 while the final roster will be announced Dec. 23.
Barber has now earned Miami Male Athlete of the Week twice this year, both coming in the last two weeks. He was also named CCHA Gongshow® Rookie of the Week on Monday for his performance, his third time winning that award this year.
Olowinski (Erie, Pa.) was the leader of Miami's dominant 71-37 victory over Chicago State Sunday in its only action last week. She tied for the team lead with 12 points, finishing with 6-for-10 shooting from the field. She also brought down nine rebounds, including three on the offensive glass, leaving her only seven boards short of tying the school record for career rebounds. Olowinski also dished out three assists and was a big contributor to the defensive effort that saw the RedHawks allow only 37 points, the fewest since 2001. She finished with two steals and one block in the game, as well, filling up the stat sheet in just 24 minutes of action.
The Miami Female Athlete of the Week honor is the third of Olowinski's career and second this year (and in as many weeks). She first earned the distinction as a junior last year.
The No. 5 hockey team is off next week but returns to the ice Dec. 28-29 when the 'Hawks participate in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, Pa. Miami faces Ohio State again on Dec. 28 and will battle either Penn State or host Robert Morris the next night. Should Barber make the final U.S. roster, he would miss the Three Rivers Classic to represent his country. Olowinski and the women's basketball team are back on the court this weekend, Dec. 21-22, taking part in the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico. Miami will face Creighton in its first game before battling Nevada on Dec. 22.
The next Miami Athletes of the Week connected by Frontier Communications will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 25. For a list of previous winners, click here.
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