Canadians captured two of the three major individual awards handed out during the NCAA Division 1 men's hockey championship finals in Chicago over the weekend.
Members of the University of Denver Pioneers, who claimed the national crown with a 3-2 win over the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in the Frozen Four title match on Saturday, swept the awards to put an exclamation point on their amazing 2016-17 season.
Pioneers head coach Jim Montgomery, a native of Montreal, Que., was named winner of the Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year, while junior goaltender Tanner Jaillet from Red Deer, Alta. took home the Mike Richter Award as the most outstanding goaltender in college hockey this season.
Completing the Denver hat trick was senior defenceman Will Butcher, a native of Sun Prairie, Wis., who was named winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in the NCAA.
In four years as bench boss of the Pioneers, Montgomery has guided the squad to championship tournament berths in each including a semifinal berth in the Frozen Four last season.
After dropping the opening two games of the 2016-17 campaign, the Pioneers finished with a record of 31-7-4. With Montgomery at the helm, Denver has a record of 102-47-18 over the past four seasons.
The NCAA title was Montgomery's second, but first as a coach. He scored a natural hat trick in the final and was named MVP of the 1993 championships leading the University of Maine Black Bears to the crown. He was also a Hobey Baker finalist that season.
Montgomery will receive his award later this month (April 26) at the annual AHCA convention in Naples, Florida
Jaillet picked up a pair of wins in the Frozen Four after an outstanding regular season.
Starting all but six games this past season, the undrafted 23-year-old finished with a record of 24-5-4 for the NCHC regular season champions. He led the conference in save percentage with .930, goals-against-average at 1.82 and tied for most wins with 24. His GGA ranked third in the nation and save percentage was fifth.
In three seasons in Denver, Jaillet has appeared in 95 games and has a record of 59-18-9.
In addition to those awards, a Canadian, for the second straight year, was named Senior CLASS Award recipient.
The award is presented annually by the NCAA in all sports and goes to the student-athlete who excels at their chosen sport, in the classroom as well as assisting in their adopted communities.
The 2016-17 winner is Steinbach, Man. native Brendan Harms, who has toiled for the Bemidji State Beavers for the past four seasons. David Glen from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. and a member of the Penn State Nittany Lions was the 2015-16 recipient.
Harms played in 141 games during his stint with the Beavers. He tallied 88 points (33G, 55A) and is continuing the 2016-17 season as a member of the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.
Four other Canadians were finalists for the award. That list included Bentley Falcons forward Max French from Kelowna, B.C., Clarkson Golden Knights defenceman James de Haas from Mississauga, Ont., Harvard Crimson forward Alexander Kerfoot from West Vancouver, B.C., and Northern Michigan Wildcats defenceman Brock Maschmeyer from Bruederheim, Alta.
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