FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - For the second time this year, Miami University freshman goaltender Ryan McKay has earned CCHA Gongshow® Goaltender of the Month, as the Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced February's monthly awards Friday morning. McKay picked up his first CCHA Goaltender of the Month honor for December when he was also tabbed Hockey Commissioners' Association National Rookie of the Month.
McKay (Palatine, Ill.) continued to be rock solid in net in February, as he started five games while posting a 4-1-0 record. During the month, he compiled a 1.20 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage, both of which were first nationally during the month of February. He allowed just six goals all month, including only four even-strength goals, while pitching one shutout, his third whitewash of the season. He did not give up more than two goals in any of his five starts while averaging 29.6 saves per game.
McKay started the month with a 6-2 win over Alaska Feb. 2, making 29 saves, as both goals allowed came on the power play. He was named the game's No. 3 star for his efforts. In his next outing, Feb. 9 at then-No. 6 Western Michigan, McKay blanked the Broncos in front of their home fans, stopping all 29 shots that came his way while helping Miami go 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. One night after the RedHawks fell to WMU (with a different goalie in net), McKay responded to earn the win and was named the game's No. 2 star. He also picked up his first career CCHA Warrior® Goaltender of the Week honor for his efforts.
McKay then started both games on the same weekend for the first time all year, playing both contests against then-No. 12 Notre Dame. On Feb. 15, he conceded just one goal in a 3-1 win to earn his third straight win of the month and fifth straight win overall. He made 20 saves and backstopped a penalty kill unit that went 6-for-6 in the game as he was again named the game's No. 2 star. He suffered his lone defeat of the month Feb. 17 to the Irish, playing in front of 52,000 people outdoors at Soldier Field in his hometown of Chicago. He totaled 26 saves in the 2-1 loss.
McKay wrapped up February with another win, as he capped a sweep of Lake Superior Feb. 23 on the road by giving up just one goal in a tight, 2-1 victory. He made a career-high 44 saves in the win, the most saves by a RedHawk goaltender since March 28, 2010 when Connor Knapp stopped 55 shots vs. Michigan in the NCAA Regional Final. He helped kill all three Laker power plays and once more earned No. 2 star of the game honors.
On the year, McKay leads the country with a 1.06 GAA and .962 save percentage while posting a 9-3-2 record. He has allowed just 15 goals in 15 starts this season.
In December, McKay played in four games and posted a 0.76 GAA and .970 save percentage while pitching one shutout to claim his first monthly accolade. Three RedHawks have now collected five CCHA monthly awards this season as, in addition to McKay's pair of honors, freshman forward Riley Barber was named CCHA Gongshow® Rookie of the Month for October and November while sophomore forward Austin Czarnik garnered CCHA Warrior® Player of the Month for October.
McKay and the RedHawks close out the regular season this weekend, hosting in-state rival Ohio State Friday (tonight) and Saturday at Steve Cady Arena. Puck drop Friday is at 7:35 p.m. while Saturday's game is at 7:05 p.m. and will be Senior Night, as well as Miami's final CCHA regular-season game ever. The RedHawks need just one regulation or shootout win this weekend to capture the CCHA regular-season championship. To purchase tickets, click here.