MURedHawks.com caught up with Miami hockey sophomore forward Riley Barber, who is traveling with the USA Junior National Team for the World Junior Championships. Barber is tied for the RedHawks’ team lead with 28 points this season.
MURedHawks.com: It’s early on, but how is camp going so far?
Riley Barber: Camp is going well. We are making strides as a team and getting better every day. The roster has been cut down 15 forwards and eight defensemen so far and the final spots will be competitive when we travel to Sweden. So far, I am pretty excited about the team we have.
MU: A year ago, you were one of the cogs on a gold medal winning team. What was that feeling like and how does that experience help you as a returner as the team heads to Sweden?
RB: I think that the experience of winning gold last year helps me a lot. I know what to expect and I can help out the younger players both on and off the ice.
MU: From a preparation and development standpoint, what had to happen to claim gold last year?
RB: I think everyone had to come together and worry about the team instead of themselves as individuals. Our goaltending was great as well, but we also had a lot of players step up in different roles.
MU: What role you see yourself playing on this team?
RB: As of now, I think I’m going to play a significant role. I am going to log a lot of minutes and try make the most of them.
MU: How have the first couple months at Miami this year prepared you for this tournament?
RB: I think it’s helped a lot. I have worked hard on my defensive game and am trying to become an all-around game against great competition.
MU: The team got on the ice for a game against Minnesota State on Tuesday (a 3-2 overtime win), what did everyone learn about the team that night?
RB: I think we learned that we can be a very good team. We didn’t play a great game, but we can improve and that’s always a good sign.
MU: Does it feel any different joining this team as one of the older guys and one of the few returners in terms of being counted on as a leader?
RB: It’s always an honor to be looked at as a leader, especially on this stage. I’m going to try and help this team out the best that I can.