Canton native and former St. Lawrence University men’s hockey coach Greg Carvel is the Spencer Penrose Award winner, which goes to the top NCAA Division I coach in the nation.
Carvel was named for the award Tuesday, two days before his Massachusetts Amherst team plays a game in the NCAA Frozen Four.
Carvel will receive the award at the American Hockey Coaches Associations’ convention on May 1 in Naples, Fla.
UMass, which face Denver in a semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Buffalo, head into the event with a 30-9 overall record. The Minutemen won the Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H., two weeks ago, beating Notre Dame and Harvard by 4-0 scores.
“I was a little worried because I didn’t know how my team was going to respond,” Carvel said on March 30 after the Notre Dame win. “To see them elevate when the game is do or die, what we did this week. We needed that.”
Carvel, who also has been named ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year in the past, is the first coach from UMass to win the award. His overall record with the Minutemen is 52-58-4. The team won just five games in his first season. Adding his four seasons as head coach with SLU, he has a career mark of 124-121-9.
Carvel was the ECAC’s Best Defensive Forward in 1993 and registered 38 goals and 85 assists in 131 career games with the Saints.