March 30, 2011 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Dennehy, Blashill are CHN Co-Coaches of the Year

CHN Staff Report

Merrimack's Mark Dennehy and Western Michigan's Jeff Blashill have been named College Hockey News' Co-Coach of the Year. Like the Rookie of the Year honor, the race was extremely tight. It's the first time CHN has honored double recipients.

Dennehy and Blashill beat out Union's Nate Leaman, North Dakota's Dave Hakstol, Notre Dame's Jeff Jackson and Nebraska-Omaha's Dean Blais — four others who were also in the running.

Merrimack finished 25-10-4 this season, fourth in Hockey East. The Warriors made the Hockey East tournament championship game, losing to Boston College, 5-3. They also qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since joining Hockey East, and first time overall since 1988. Merrimack lost to Notre Dame, 4-3 in overtime, at the Northeast Regional last weekend.

This is Dennehy's sixth season at Merrimack. His teams won nine games the first two years combined. Dennehy, who was named Hockey East Coach of the Year last season, played at Boston College from 1987-91, and later was an assistant coach at Princeton and Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, Blashill just completed his first season as a college head coach, taking a Western Michigan team that won eight games last season, and turning it into an NCAA Tournament qualifier. The Broncos had a very similar season to Merrimack. They finished 19-13-10, advancing to the CCHA tournament championship game, where they lost to Miami. Then, qualifying for their first NCAA Tournament since 1996, lost in double overtime to Denver in the Midwest Regional.

Blashill was previously an assistant coach at Miami, and then spent two seasons as head coach of the Indiana Ice of the USHL before coming to Western Michigan. He was a goalie at Ferris State from 1992-96.

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