ROCHESTER, NY – A league high five members of the RIT men’s hockey team earned 2014-15 Atlantic Hockey All-Conference honors, as the league announced its first, second, and third teams on Thursday, March 12. Matt Garbowsky (St. George, Ontario/Powell River Kings) was the lone unanimous first team selection, while Josh Mitchell (Osoyoos, British Columbia/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) and Brady Norrish (Strongfield, Saskatchewan/Yorkton Terriers) were second team picks. Brad McGowan (Langley, British Columbia/Surrey Eagles) and Alexander Kuqali (Pittsburgh, PA/Sioux City Musketeers) were third team selections.
The five selections tied a team record for most All-AHC picks, also accomplished in 2010. All five players were honored for the first time.
Garbowsky, RIT’s captain and Hobey Baker Award Candidate, is enjoying an incredible season for the Tigers. Garbowsky, a three-time AHC Player of the Week, leads Division I with 594 face-off wins, is tied for second with 24 goals, seventh with 46 points, and tied for ninth with a plus-21 rating. He led the league in scoring during league play with 44 points on 23 goals and 21 assists in 28 league contests and has 11 multiple-point outings this season. Garbowsky recorded his first two career hat-tricks on Nov. 14 against Canisius and Mercyhurst on Feb. 27. He tied a career-high with four points on three separate occasions. Garbowsky became the seventh player in RIT’s Division I history to reach 100 career points, doing so on Feb. 14 at Holy Cross. He has 46 goals and 60 career assists in 122 games.
Mitchell has enjoyed a breakout season, with 42 points on 12 goals and 30 assists in 34 games this season. Mitchell has 12 multiple-point contests this season, including a pair of four-point outings and is excelling on the defensive end as well, playing at a plus-20 this season. Mitchell was second in league play, recording 38 points on 11 goals and 27 assists in 28 AHC contests. He has 75 career points (21-54-75) in 109 games. His 30 assists lead all Atlantic Hockey skaters and is tied for sixth in Division I.
Norrish, a defenseman, has enjoyed an excellent rookie season for the Tigers, leading all RIT first year players with 16 points on four goals and 12 assists to go along with a spectacular plus-16 rating. His plus-16 rating is tied for fourth in the league is tops among all first-year players. He leads all first-year Atlantic Hockey defensemen in scoring and is seventh overall among all AHC defenders. Norrish was one of two rookies to earn All-AHC honors. Last week, Norrish was named to the conference’s All-Rookie Team.
McGowan, a senior assistant captain, has stepped up on both ends of the ice in his final season, with 36 points on 16 goals and 20 assists in 34 games, while recording a plus-16 rating. He was seventh among all skaters in league play with 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 26 AHC contests. McGowan, the AHC Player of the Month in February, was also the league’s Player of the Week on Feb. 24 after recording his first collegiate hat-trick to go along with an assist in a 4-3 win over No. 19 Robert Morris. On Feb. 27, McGowan became the eighth Tiger player at the Division I level to record 100 career points in an 8-0 win over Mercyhurst. He has 39 career goals and 61 assists in 144 games.
Kuqali, a junior defenseman, has excelled on both ends of the ice this season, leading all RIT blueliners with 17 points on four goals and 13 assists, while playing at a plus-12 rating. In league play, Kuqali was tied for fifth among all defensemen with 14 points on two goals and 12 assists. Kuqali, an assistant captain, scored twice in the season-opener against St. Lawrence, including the first ever goal at the Gene Polisseni Center. Kuqali has 38 points (9-29-38) in 108 career games.
The Tigers are back in action this weekend, as the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Hockey Postseason Tournament, hosting No. 7 seed Air Force in a best-of-three quarterfinals series from the Gene Polisseni Center. Game one is Friday, while game two is Saturday. If necessary, game three will be Sunday evening. All games will start at 7:05 p.m.