April 16, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio - Although he may have already played in the National Hockey League, Miami junior forward Reilly Smith continues to rack up the awards in college as he was named RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month for March, the league office announced Monday. Smith was also chosen as a Second-Team All-American by Inside College Hockey (INCH) Monday while freshman forward Austin Czarnik received Second-Team Freshman All-America plaudits from INCH.
Smith has now won three of the six RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month awards handed out for 2011-12, as he also claimed the honor for November and January, with the November award his first career Player of the Month. He also garnered CCHA Offensive Player of the Week four times during the season.
Smith (Mimico, Ont.) closed his collegiate career with a strong March, totaling 10 points in just five postseason games for a 2.00 points per game average. He scored four goals, including one on the power play and one short-handed, and added six assists while notching a +8 rating during the month.
The newest member of the Dallas Stars had three multi-assist games, one multi-goal game and four multi-point games in March and had a goal in three of the five contests. He saw his career-long 10-game point streak and career-long-tying six-game multi-point streak come to a close in his final game as he was held scoreless against UMass Lowell in the NCAA Tournament, his only game in March where he didn’t record any points.
Smith started the month with two assists and a +3 rating in game one of Miami’s CCHA quarterfinal series with Michigan State, a 6-0 win. He then notched three points on a goal and two helpers the next night as the RedHawks completed the sweep of MSU, 4-1. Smith continued his strong play in the CCHA semifinals, scoring both of Miami’s goals in a 6-2 loss to Western Michigan, including one short-handed. In the third-place game, he led the RedHawks to a 4-1 win over Bowling Green with a goal and two assists.
Miami captured a total of six CCHA monthly awards during the season as Czarnik was selected as the CCHA Rookie of the Month for November while senior goalie Cody Reichard received CCHA Goaltender of the Month for the same month. Fellow senior goalie Connor Knapp then won CCHA Goaltender for the Month for February to go along with Smith’s three monthly awards.
In addition to his CCHA honor, Smith landed on INCH’s All-America Second Team. He was named a First-Team West All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) and a Second-Team All-American by College Hockey News earlier this year. The Hobey Baker Award finalist finished second in the country with 30 goals and tied for 10th nationally with his 48 points, which led the CCHA, in 39 games. The 30 goals place Smith seventh in Miami single-season history as he is just the second RedHawk to score 30 goals in a year since 1993 (Ryan Jones in 2007-08).
Smith, a team captain in 2011-12, was named a unanimous First-Team All-CCHA selection and was selected to the CCHA All-Tournament Team, both for the second straight year. He led the NCAA with eight-game winning goals, which ties a Miami single-season record, including scoring four straight game-winners from Jan. 7 to Jan. 21. Of his 30 goals, nine came on the power play, which tied for ninth nationally, while two were short-handed. Smith also captured the CCHA goal-scoring title for the second straight year with 18 goals in league play while his 28 points in CCHA action were third. He finished with a +26 rating overall, which tied for second in the country.
Smith had a career-long 10-game point streak from Feb. 10-March 17 and a career-long-tying four-game goal streak from Feb. 17-25 while totaling 16 points in his last seven contests as a RedHawk. The winger notched six multi-goal, six multi-assist and 14 multi-point games on the year, including two hat tricks, giving him three for his career.
Smith finished his RedHawk career with 122 points in 121 games on 66 goals and 56 assists. The 66 career goals tie him for ninth in school history while his 122 career points rank 27th all-time at Miami. He became the 47th player in Miami history to top the century mark for points Jan. 28 against Northern Michigan. He also totaled 12 career game-winning goals, which ties for second in school history. Smith finishes with 15 career multi-goal games and 38 career multi-point games while posting a +63 rating. He made his NHL debut with the Stars March 28.
Czarnik (Washington, Mich.), who was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team last month, anchored Miami’s top line all season (40 games), ranking second on the team with 37 points behind Smith while leading the RedHawks with 27 assists, which ranked second in the CCHA among all players and tied for second nationally among newcomers. His 37 points led all CCHA freshmen. In addition to his CCHA Rookie of the Month nod, he earned CCHA Rookie of the Week three times while also being named to the Denver Cup Classic All-Tournament Team in November.
Czarnik’s 0.93 points per game was fifth nationally among freshmen. He chipped in 10 goals and posted a +25 rating, which was second on the team and tied for fourth in the NCAA among all players. The skilled center tallied 10 multi-point games, including four three-point games, and six multi-assist games while finishing the year on a career-best seven-game point streak.
Smith was one of five CCHA players named to INCH’s three All-America squads while Czarnik was one of just three CCHA rookies to earn INCH honors. To see the complete INCH All-America teams, click here, while the complete INCH Freshman All-American teams are available here.