University of Maine men’s hockey head coach Red Gendron looks on prior to a Jan. 21 game against the University of New Hampshire at Alfond Arena in Orono. He has been named a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award as the national coach of the year. (BDN File) Credit: BDN File

University of Maine men’s ice hockey head coach Red Gendron has been named a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, given annually to the CCM/AHCA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Coach of the Year.

The winner of the honor, selected by the nation’s 60 NCAA Division I head coaches, will be announced on Tuesday, April 7.

The 2019-2020 AHCA Men’s Ice Hockey Spencer Penrose Award finalists also include Brad Berry, North Dakota; Bob Motzko, Minnesota; Greg Powers, Arizona State; Mike Hastings, Minnesota State; Scott Sandelin, Minnesota-Duluth; Eric Lang, American International College; and Mike Schafer of Cornell.

Gendron guided the Black Bears to their best Hockey East regular-season finish since the 2011-2012 season, claiming the fourth seed in the Hockey East Tournament with a 12-9-3 record in league play. UMaine posted an 18-11-5 overall mark.

The Black Bears went 13-1-3 in games at Alfond Arena in Orono and 10-3-2 over its last 15 regular-season games overall.

UMaine also ranked third in Hockey East and 10th in the country in scoring defense, allowing 2.21 goals per game. The Black Bears also were 11th in penalty killing percentage (.861).

Gendron could become the third UMaine coach to win the award. The late Shawn Walsh was the Penrose Award recipient in 1995 and Tim Whitehead won it in 2002.

The 62-year-old Gendron, who just concluded his seventh season behind the UMaine bench, deflected credit for the nomination.

“(It) indicates that we had a pretty good year. It has to do with the players we had and the tremendous coaching staff that I had,” Gendron said.

“We had a great group of players and great leaders on this team. It was a very fun team to coach,” he said.

Gendron said he hasn’t given much thought to the award.

“There are so many more important things to think about right now,” Gendron said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re supporting our players as they finish their academic year remotely and prepare for the future.

“Those are things that matter to me,” he said.

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Pete Warner

Pete is a Bangor native who graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1980. He earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He has been a full-time member of the Bangor...