April 14, 2004
UMD's Sandelin Wins Spencer Penrose Award

Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin, who led his team to a Frozen Four berth and a second-place finish in the WCHA, has been named the 2004 Spencer Penrose Award winner by the American Hockey Coaches Association. The award is presented annually to the men's Division I coach of the year.

Sandelin, also the INCH Coach of the Year, took over the Minnesota Duluth program in 2000 and has made his mark in a relatively short amount of time. By his third season in Duluth, Sandelin had engineered the greatest one-year turnaround in WCHA history, taking the 6-19-3 WCHA mark of 2002 and turning it into a 14-10-4 league record in 2003. This year, UMD compiled a 28-13-4 record, finishing second in the WCHA, and then captured the NCAA Midwest Regional by defeating Michigan State, 5-0, and Minnesota, 3-1, to advance to the Frozen Four in Boston. There the dream of the school’s first NCAA title died in a 5-3 semifinal loss to fellow WCHA member Denver, the eventual national champion. Denver head coach George Gwozdecky finished runner-up to Sandelin in the Spencer Penrose voting.

A 1987 graduate of North Dakota, Sandelin was a Hobey Baker finalist as a senior and returned to his alma mater in 1994 as an assistant coach to Dean Blais. The Hibbing, Minnesota, native enjoyed great success on the Sioux staff, including NCAA titles in 1997 and 2000.

Prior to entering the college coaching ranks, Sandelin coached the Fargo-Moorhead Junior Kings of the Junior Elite Hockey League in 1993-94 and the Fargo-Moorhead Express of the American Hockey Association in 1992-93.

A second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1982 Draft (40th selection overall), Sandelin played seven years of profesional hockey, including NHL stints with Montreal, Philadelphia, and Minnesota.

The Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Coach of the Year Award is named after Spencer Penrose, a wealthy Colorado Springs, CO, benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first 10 NCAA ice hockey championships.

College hockey’s Coach of the Year recipients are chosen by members of the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). Winners will receive their awards at the annual AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet, held in conjunction with the AHCA Convention in Naples, FL. This year’s banquet is scheduled for Saturday, April 24.

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