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Ferris State's Daniels named Coach of the Year

by Bob Snow /

Ferris State coach Bob Daniels has been named the 2012 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men's Ice Hockey flexxCOACH/AHCA National Coach of the Year.

Daniels led the Bulldogs to a first-ever Frozen Four appearance last weekend, downing Union 3-1 in the semifinal before losing 4-1 to Boston College in the championship game.

This marks Daniels' second Penrose Award in his 20-year career; his peers honored him in 2003, following the school's only other NCAA Tournament appearance. The award will be presented April 28 during the American Hockey Coaches Association annual convention in Naples, Fla.

Ferris State coach Bob Daniels has been named the 2012 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men's Ice Hockey National Coach of the Year. (Photo: Ferris State University)

Runners-up for the award were Rick Bennett of Union College and Norm Bazin of UMass-Lowell.

"I'm honored by the award and certainly humbled," Daniels said. "The coach of the year honor, of all the awards out there, is unique in it represents a team accomplishment. I think it's an award bestowed upon the entire coaching staff, the players and the administration.

"It's truly a team award given to one individual. I'm humbled by it and will gladly accept it on behalf of the players and coaching staff along with administration of Ferris State University."

Coach's corner: Boston College coach Jerry York and Ferris State's Bob Daniels took center stage after last Saturday's national championship game.

Here are a few excerpts and comments from each about the final game of the 2011-12 NCAA season:

Daniels on the game: "I thought it was a perfect game for us. Coming out of the first period when it was 2-1, I felt pretty good about it. I felt as though, 'OK, we can play with these guys, and we're certainly not out of place whatsoever.' And I felt very comfortable after the second. It was a 2-1 game. We're in those all the time. Seemed to be our kind of hockey. Through the third period, I looked up, 'OK, we're under seven minutes. We've got this down to a seven-minute hockey game. This is a good spot for us to be in.' And I felt as though we were generating some chances and certainly had some opportunities. So the goal by Gaudreau (at 16:58 to put BC up 3-1) was certainly a big-time goal by a big-time player."

York on the game: "We knew Ferris was going to be outstanding as a team. They don't have the name recognition, but we really analyzed how Ferris got here, and they won a league that sent five teams to the NCAA. So they're ahead of Michigan, they're ahead of Michigan State, they're ahead of Western Michigan, they're ahead of ahead of Miami, all teams we're very familiar with. You don't just throw sticks out and win that league. Then as they went through only giving up one goal in the regionals to Denver or Cornell and then only one goal to Union, we knew we were going to play a very defensive, disciplined team. So with that framework, I don't think most people understood outside of the real hockey community how tough a game this was going to be. I thought our team stayed patient through the first two periods and got an incredible goal from Johnny Gaudreau to break open the game there. But during the course of the game, Parker Milner once again was extremely strong in the net."

By the Numbers: The top 10 facts to come out of the 2012 Frozen Four in Tampa:

*The Ferris State roster had zero NHL draftees, but a combined 3.41 grade-point average in the classroom.'s Top 10

1. Boston College 33-10-1
2. Ferris State 26-12-5
3. Union 26-8-7
4. Minnesota 28-14-1
5. North Dakota 26-13-3
6. Minnesota-Duluth 25-10-6
7. Michigan 24-13-4
8. Miami 24-15-2
9. UMass-Lowell 24-13-1
10. Cornell 19-9-7

*This is the first time in school history that any Ferris State team in any sport competed in an NCAA championship game.

*Ferris State's 15-game unbeaten streak earlier this season and Boston College's 19-game winning streak -- which includes the NCAA title game -- were the two longest unbeaten streaks in Division I hockey this season.

*Boston College wins its third national championship in the past five years and fifth overall.

*Boston College is the first team since 1961 to win three championships in five seasons.

*The last time Boston College allowed more than two goals in a game was Jan. 27.

*Boston College outscored its opponents 16-2 in its four tournament games. Parker Milner's 0.50 goals-against average in those four ties him for the best all-time with three other players: Ken Dryden, Cornell, 1967; Gerry Powers, Denver, 1968; and Tim Regan, Boston University, 1972.

*Milner's .982 save percentage in the 2012 tournament is third best all-time. It's the best since 1972 and the best since the tournament expanded beyond four teams in 1977.

*Jerry York's overall record stands at 913-557-94 in 40 seasons as a coach at Clarkson, Bowling Green, and Boston College. He's second on the all-time Division I win list behind Ron Mason's 924. York is 32-9 in NCAA Tournament games as the coach of Boston College; his 37 wins overall in the NCAA Tournament is the highest total in Division I history.

*A total of 300 former U.S. college hockey players participated in the 2011-12 NHL regular season, the biggest NCAA representation in history. Forty-five colleges were represented, led by Michigan (23), Wisconsin (22) and Boston College (21).

The 2013 Frozen Four will be played April 11 and 13 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

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