UMass Lowell hockey head coach Norm Bazin, after guiding the River Hawks to a first-place tie and the playoff No. 1 seed, has been named the recipient of the Bob Kullen Award as the Hockey East Coach of the Year.
The announcement was made Thursday night at the league's Championship Awards Night at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
It is the third time that Bazin has been honored by Hockey East in six years as the conference coach of the year. Bazin also received the Kullen award in 2012 and 2013. He was also recognized by the American Hockey Coaches Association with the Spencer Penrose Award in 2013 as the National Coach of the Year.
"The coach of the year award is a recognition of the outstanding leadership Norm continues to provide for the hockey program and the University," said UMass Lowell Director of Athletics Dana Skinner. "It is also an acknowledgment of the exceptional efforts of his staff and student-athletes as they continue to leap over the high bar of excellence that Norm has set."
Bazin guided the UMass Lowell hockey club, picked to finish fourth in the preseason Coaches' Poll, to a first-place finish in Hockey East in dramatic fashion. The River Hawks, sitting in a fifth-place tie and 10 points behind the league-leaders moving into the final month of the regular season, won their final seven games including a season-ending sweep of first-place Boston College to finish in a three-way tie for the top spot and earn the tournament's top seed.
The River Hawks are 24-10-3 (14-7-1 HE) and are ranked in the top 10 in both national polls. This is the team's sixth consecutive 20-win season the longest such stretch in program history.
UML seniors Joe Gambardella, Michael Kapla and Dylan Zink were named Second-Team Hockey East All-Stars.
It marks the fourth time in team history that River Hawks have had three Hockey East All-Star honorees in the same season.
Gambardella tallied 25 points in conference play, which was tied for the ninth-best total among league skaters. Kapla ranked seventh in league play among Hockey East defensemen with 16 points. Zink's 23 points in league games led all HE defensemen and his six goals in conference games was tied for most in Hockey East.