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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

WMU leads CCHA All-Rookie Team picks

CCHA Press Release

Four schools had one student-athlete named to the 2012 CCHA All-Rookie Team, with Western Michigan boasting two selections.

This marks the 24th year that the conference has named an all-rookie team.

Sixteen freshmen garnered at least one vote.

Determined by a vote of the conference’s head coaches, the team will be honored at the 2012 CCHA Awards on Thursday, March 15, at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Austin Czarnik, a 19-year-old forward from Washington and Miami University, was a three-time CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week recipient as well as the league’s November Gongshow Rookie of the Month. Czarnik was first among CCHA rookies overall with 20 assists and second in points with 29. He finished tied for fifth place in the league with +19.

Alex Guptill, a 20-year-old forward from Newmarket, Ont., and the University of Michigan, led the Wolverines and all CCHA freshmen in scoring in both conference play (13-12-25) and overall (16-15-31). A draft pick of the Dallas Stars, Guptill’s 25 points puts him in a three-way for sixth-place in the conference. He was a two-time CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week recipient, the league’s January Gongshow Rookie of the Month and the only freshman to be named the CCHA Postgame Offensive Player of the Week.

Max McCormick, a 19-year-old forward from De Pere, Wis., and The Ohio State University, finished second in the rookie scoring race with 10 goals and 20 points in conference action despite missing six games due to injury. An Ottawa Senators draft pick, McCormick was a two-time CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week and his 20 league points tied him with sophomore forward Chris Crane for the team lead.

Garrett Haar, an 18-year-old defenseman from Huntington Beach, Calif., and Western Michigan University, consistently played in the Broncos top two defensive pairs. The Washington Capitals draft pick was +6 on the season, +2 in league play, and was named the CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week on Oct. 24.

Robbie Russo, a 19-year-old defenseman from Westmont, Ill., and the University of Notre Dame, scored four goals and added 10 assists in 36 games to lead all rookie defensemen. The New York Islanders draft pick scored all four of his goals on the power play against CCHA opponents and his 12 power-play points overall led all Irish defensemen.

Frank Slubowski, a 21-year-old goaltender from Prince Rupert, B.C., and Western Michigan University, posted a 2.03 goals-against average, third-best in league play. Slubowski, the only unanimous selection on the All-Rookie Team, shined particularly bright in the final month of the season, posting a 1.87 GAA and .917 save percentage en route to earning February CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Month honors. He was named CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week on Jan. 16 and his 12 conference wins were good for third place in the league.

Honorable mentions: Forwards — Matt Berry, MSU; Phil Di Giuseppe, UM; Ryan Dzingel, OSU; Jimmy Mullin, MIA; Defensemen — Jake Baker, NMU; Jason Binkley, FSU; Kevin Czuczman, LSSU; Simon Denis, FSU; Al McLean, OSU; Goaltender — C.J. Motte, FSU.

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