FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - For the first time in program history, the Miami University hockey team placed three players on the CCHA All-Rookie Team as freshmen forward Riley Barber, defenseman Matthew Caito and goaltender Ryan McKay were all named to the team, which the Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced Monday.
The RedHawks have never had three rookies garner All-Rookie Team honors previously, last placing two on the squad in 2008-09 when defenseman Chris Wideman and goaltender Connor Knapp were recognized. The last CCHA team to have three players land on the All-Rookie Team was Notre Dame in 2006-07. Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik was Miami's lone representative on last year's CCHA All-Rookie Team.
Joining Miami's trio on the seven-man All-Rookie Team are Notre Dame forward Mario Lucia, Alaska forward Tyler Morley, Michigan defenseman Jacob Trouba and Western Michigan defenseman Kenney Morrison. Miami was the only team to have more than one player on the All-Rookie Team while Barber was the lone unanimous selection to the squad.
Barber (Livonia, Mich.) led the RedHawks offensively, finishing with a team-high 36 points and 15 goals in 34 games with his 36 points also the most among all CCHA players and the most among all rookies nationally. His 15 goals rank sixth in the CCHA while he added 21 assists, which ties for fourth in the league and was first among all NCAA freshmen. The skilled forward was named CCHA Gongshow® Rookie of the Week four times, more than anyone else, and was tabbed CCHA Gongshow® Rookie of the Month twice (October and November). Barber totaled a team-high 11 multi-point games on the year and had a point in 19 of 28 league games. In league play, the Capitals prospect posted 30 points, which was second among all CCHA players and led rookies, as did his 1.07 points per game average. His 12 goals in league play tied for fourth in the league and tied for first among freshmen while his 18 assists in conference action were tops among newcomers and tied for second in the league. Barber has three game-winning goals on the year and a +13 rating, as well.
Caito (Coto de Caza, Calif.) provided stability at both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice, playing in all 36 games. The blueliner played on Miami's top defensive pair all season while also skating on the top power play and penalty kill units. He totaled 18 points on the season, which ranks fourth on the team and ties for seventh in the CCHA among all defensemen and third among rookie defensemen. Caito scored five goals during the year, all in league play, and dished out 13 assists with the five markers tying for fourth among all CCHA defensemen. He earned CCHA Gladiator® Defenseman of the Week three times, more than any other defenseman. Of his 18 points, 16 came in league play, which ties for sixth among all CCHA defensemen, is third among freshmen blueliners and sixth among all freshmen in the league. In addition, Caito leads the team with 63 blocked shots this year, which is ninth in the CCHA, while posting a +11 rating.
McKay (Palatine, Ill.) has been stellar in net for Miami all season, starting 17 games while posting a 10-4-2 record. He has allowed just 19 goals all year, including six on the power play. He boasts a 1.17 goals-against average and .957 save percentage, both of which rank first nationally among all goaltenders. He has pitched three shutouts this year, including two in league play, with the three whitewashes tying for third in the CCHA. McKay garnered CCHA Gongshow® Goaltender of the Month for both December and February, including Hockey Commissioners' Association National Rookie of the Month in December, and was CCHA Warrior® Goaltender of the Week once, as well. In league play, he also led all CCHA netminders with both a 1.32 GAA and .951 save percentage while going 8-3-1. In seven of his 13 CCHA starts, McKay held the opposition to a goal or less.
A total of 13 freshmen received at least one vote for the All-Rookie Team as the team was determined by a vote of the league's head coaches. This year marks the 25th season the CCHA has named an All-Rookie Team, which will be honored at the 2013 CCHA Awards on Friday, March 22 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Mich.
2012-13 CCHA All-Rookie Team
Riley Barber, F, Miami
Mario Lucia, F, Notre Dame
Tyler Morley, F, Alaska
Jacob Trouba, D, Michigan
Matthew Caito, D, Miami
Kenney Morrison, D, Western Michigan
Ryan McKay, G, Miami
Honorable Mention: Forward - Cristoval Nieves, UM; Matt DeBlouw, MSU; Defense - Colton Parayko, UA; Craig Dalrymple, OSU; Goaltender - Jake Hildebrand, MSU; John Keeney, UA.