April 12, 2012

OXFORD, Ohio - Having already inked nine players to National Letters-of-Intent during the early signing period in November, the Miami University hockey team completed its 2012 recruiting class Thursday as head coach Enrico Blasi announced that Kevin Morris signed an NLI on the first day of the regular signing period. Morris will suit up for the RedHawks beginning this coming fall.

"We are excited to add Kevin to our family,” Blasi said. “He is a high-character guy that brings size, grit, and toughness to our team. His compete level and hockey sense are elements that really stood out to us. He is a great addition to our program and will be a part of an incoming class that will be a big part of Miami Hockey's future."

Morris, a native of Massena, N.Y., is a forward in his first year with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the Tier I Junior United States Hockey League (USHL). The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder has played in 48 games this season alongside fellow incoming freshman defenseman Matthew Caito, who also plays for Dubuque. The two also played together at the Salisbury School in the New England Prep League last year.

“Playing college hockey has been my dream since I was little,” Morris said. “I know that my opportunities with Miami are unbelievable. They have a tremendous staff there that I have already fallen in love with. They are coaches who I want to play for and a program I want to be a part of.”

In his first year with the Fighting Saints, Morris has tallied eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points while scoring one game-winning goal and one power play goal. He has also collected 54 penalty minutes on the season and has three goals and four points in his last four games. Morris finishes the regular season with Dubuque this weekend with games against Chicago and Muskegon Friday and Saturday.

“Kevin Morris is an outstanding teammate and an integral part of our team, who has really increased his offensive production throughout the year,” said Dubuque head coach Jim Montgomery. “He has been solid defensively all season long and an important part of our penalty kill in particular.”

Morris’ father, Mark, is in his fifth season as head coach of the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (AHL), during which he has coached former RedHawk goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (’08), who has played for Manchester for the past four seasons, and former Miami defenseman Alec Martinez (’08), now with the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL. The elder Morris was also the head coach at Clarkson University for 14 years from 1988 to 2002.

Morris and Caito join forwards Riley Barber, Alex Gacek and Sean Kuraly, defenseman Chris Joyaux and Patrick Sieloff and goalies Ryan McKay and Jay Williams as incoming freshmen for the 2012-13 school year. To read about Miami’s signees from the early signing period, click here.