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College Hockey:
Union coach Leaman wins Spencer Penrose Award

Leading Union to a first place regular season finish in the ECAC has earned Nate Leaman the 2011 Spencer Penrose Award.

Union set school records for overall wins (26) and conference wins (17) en route to the school’s first Cleary Cup (ECAC regular season title) and first NCAA Division I tournament berth.

Leaman recently completed his eighth season as the Dutchmen’s head coach and in that time has compiled an overall record of 138-127-35. His 138 wins are the most of any of the 14 head coaches in school history.

This season marked the fourth straight season in which the win total topped the previous year.

The runner-up for this year’s Spencer Penrose Award was Scott Sandelin of the national champion Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.


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  • Guest

    Congratulations to coaches Leaman and Sandelin. I will add I’m a little surprised Mark Dennehy of Merrimack didn’t finish in the top two.

  • Guest

    Dennehy absolutely should’ve been there but unfortunately after being snubbed as HEA Coach of the Year the Warriors would’ve had to advance to the Frozen Four for him to have been eligible

  • RPI fan

    I am a life long RPI hockey fan and I think they picked the right person in Coach Leaman for this award.

  • West rules

    I think it’s good that he won it, but it was for winning what was proven as an overrated and weak league in the NCAA Tournament. His team didn’t even make it past the conference quarterfinals nor scored a goal in the national tournament. Worthy winner but Idk if it should’ve been him.

    • Guest

      As an RPI fan, I am quick to pick on Union, but they only been Div 1 since 1991, and if you look at how bad the program was before Leaman showed up, you would see why he deserves the award. Taking a team that was bad in what I know all you “Western” fans consider to be a weak league and bringing them to their first NCAA tournament appearance in Div 1 deserves credit.

      • GeauxSioux

        I absolutely agree.

    • Lbrezen

      I believe that both Union and Yale lost the eventual champions. So I don’t know how you can say that this proves that their league is “weak and overrated”

      • Guest

        Here’s how a fan can say the ECAC is “weak and overrated.” Union and Yale finished first and second in the ECAC, yet lost to Duluth–a team which finished fourth in the WCHA, didn’t win the WCHA post-season tourney and still won the NCAA tourney. Duluth’s performance in the NCAA event shows the depth of the WCHA–that the fourth place team is the national champ–while the ECAC’s top two teams lost to the WCHA’s fourth place team.

        • waiting

          Duluth was one point out of third place and two points out of second. And they had a better overall record than Denver and Nebraska-Omaha. Love how you guys try to simultaneously hype your league and downplay the teams.

          And following your logic, North Dakota, should have won the national championship. Number one in the polls, won the WCHA regular season and tournament titles. What happened? The WCHA is the best league, right? what’s their excuse?

        • IceThePuck

          Excellent point about Duluth and the WCHA. If the fourth place team in the league won the NCAA title–and it did–it demonstrates how strong the league is.

    • Gkofman

      right their division only ended up having the number 1 overall seed in the country, oh and they ended up losing to EVENTUAL CHAMPS UMD