May 25, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio - Although two of the most decorated goaltenders in Miami Hockey history graduated this past season in Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard, the RedHawks already have an incoming netminder picking up both individual and team awards in Ryan McKay, who will join the team as a freshman this fall.
McKay, a native of Palatine, Ill., has spent the last three seasons in goal for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (Tier I Juniors). He was recognized for his stellar 2011-12 season by being named the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year by USA Hockey on Thursday. He will be honored for his award on June 6 at USA Hockey's annual Night of Tribute Awards Dinner. McKay was also tabbed Co-USHL Goaltender of the Year, the league announced on Tuesday, as he shared the honor with the Fargo Force's Zane Gothberg. The USHL Goaltender of the Year is determined by a vote of USHL coaches and general managers.
McKay posted a 27-5-3 record in 2011-12 while boasting a 2.18 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in the regular season. His 2.18 GAA led the USHL while his .920 save percentage was second only to Gothberg (.921). The 6-foot-0 goalie backstopped the Gamblers to team success as well, leading Green Bay to the Anderson Cup title as USHL regular-season champions, including going unbeaten in regulation on the road with a 15-0-1 road record. He posted two shutouts on the year and allowed a goal or less in 13 of his 35 appearances.
The Gamblers also found postseason success with McKay in net, as he led them to the their fourth Clark Cup title in franchise history on Wednesday, capturing the USHL playoff crown in addition to the regular-season title. The 19-year-old played in every playoff game for Green Bay, winning nine of his 12 decisions in the postseason with a 2.07 GAA and a .922 save percentage while recording one shutout. Both his GAA and save percentage ranked second in the playoffs behind Gothberg, who only played in six contests.
McKay, who played all three years of his USHL career with Green Bay, is no stranger to success as he helped the Gamblers make the Clark Cup finals each year he was on the team. Last year, in 2010-11, he played in 38 regular-season games with a 25-9-4 record while logging a 2.00 GAA and a .928 save percentage, both of which led the USHL. His five shutouts in the regular season tied for second in the league. He also had a strong playoffs, going 6-4 with a 1.97 GAA (third in the league) and a .919 save percentage as well as one whitewash. McKay was named Second-Team All-USHL last season for his efforts and will likely earn All-USHL accolades again in 2011-12, though the teams have not been announced yet.
McKay finishes his Green Bay career as the best goaltender in franchise history, collecting 66 wins (to just 22 losses) with a 2.11 career GAA and a .921 save percentage in regular-season play, all of which are Gamblers all-time records. He also had eight shutouts during his career. In his playoff career with Green Bay, he went 15-7 with a 2.02 GAA and also a .921 save percentage, as well as a pair of clean sheets. In all, he earned 81 wins for the Green Bay Gamblers while losing just 29 times. McKay also played for Team USA at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge and helped them finish third.
At Miami, McKay will be joined by Jay Williams, who played for Sioux Falls and Waterloo in the USHL this past year, as the RedHawks' two freshmen goaltenders in 2012-13.