RIT’s Matt Garbowsky dominates college hockey

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Bryan Bennett

Matt Garbowsky

It was a dream season for RIT men’s hockey captain Matt Garbowsky.

The fourth-year business management major from St. George, Ontario, Canada, became a household name in college hockey in 2015, setting countless records and earning several accolades en route to leading RIT to the Atlantic Hockey Championship.

Garbowsky and the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time as a Division I program. RIT defeated No. 1 Minnesota State in the NCAA Midwest Regional before falling to Nebraska-Omaha in the Regional Final. RIT enjoyed a seven-game winning streak late in the season and finished 20-15-5.

In March, Garbowsky was named one of 10 finalists for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award, college hockey’s most prestigious individual honor. He was the second Tiger to be named a finalist, joining Simon Lambert who was on the list in 2008. On April 10, Garbowsky was named a 2015 CCM Hockey Second Team All-American, becoming the first RIT player to earn this prestigious honor since the program moved to Division I in 2005. He was also named a USCHO.com Second Team All-American.

In addition, Garbowsky was named the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year, Best Defensive Forward, won the Leading Scorer Award, and was a unanimous first team selection. He was also named the Most Valuable Player of the Atlantic Hockey Championship Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

“Matt is very deserving of all of these tremendous individual honors,” said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. “He has worked extremely hard at his game and is the most complete hockey player to go through the RIT program. He is not only a great player, but an even better person. We are very proud of his accomplishments during his four years at RIT.”

Garbowsky, a three-year captain, enjoyed an incredible senior season for the Tigers. A four-time AHC Player of the Week, Garbowsky led Division I with 729 face-off wins, ande led Atlantic Hockey in scoring during league play.

“RIT was a blast, all four years, “ Garbowsky said. “I had a great time and got a great degree at the same time. Definitely glad RIT gave me the chance to play. It was a lot of fun.”

Garbowsky set the Division I team record with 54 points and was one goal shy of tying the Division I team record. He tied a career-high with four points on three separate occasions and recorded a pair of hat tricks, tying a Division I single-season team mark. Garbowsky finished his RIT career with 48 goals and 66 assists in 128 games. His 114 points are fifth best at RIT in the Division I era, while the 48 goals are fourth and 66 assists are tied for seventh.

On March 31, Garbowsky signed a contract with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League through the 2015-16 season. He appeared in nine games for the Amerks and recorded his first professional point on April 11.