Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year on Monday afternoon, giving the team its first major conference award. Junior forward Casey Bailey was named to the All-Big Ten First Team, another first for the program.
Scott Conway and Max Gardiner also received nods from the conference, and six other players were given Honorable Mentions.
Gadowsky is no stranger to Coach of the Year awards; in the 2001-2002 season, he received the title from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association during his time at Alaska and again in 2007-2008 when the ECAC Hockey League commemorated his efforts at Princeton. Gadowsky was also a two-time Spencer Penrose Award finalist after receiving the awards.
Under Gadowsky’s tenure at Penn State, the Nittany Lions have defied expectations. Picked last during the preseason, the team beat every conference opponent at least once during the season, more than doubled the total number of wins from last season, and had its first winning season as a Division I contender. Penn State was also in the running for the Big Ten title until the last week of conference play.
Bailey’s career season at Penn State was honored by the conference as he was named to the All-Big Ten First Team. Bailey currently sits tied at the top of the league in scoring with 22 goals and is fifth in the nation.
Bailey is the first person to score 40 points this season for the Nittany Lions and is Penn State’s all-time leading scorer with 80 points.
Freshman forward Scott Conway was given a nod and named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team, the first Penn Stater to receive this honor. Conway is second among freshman in the Big Ten with 10 goals and 26 points.
Senior Max Gardiner was given the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, which honors student-athletes who display good sportsmanship, citizenry, ethical behavior, and excellent academic standing. Gardiner maintains nearly a 4.0 GPA.
Six Nittany Lions were handed All-Big Ten Honorable Mentions: David Goodwin, Taylor, Nate Jensen, Luke Juha, Patrick Koudys, and PJ Musico.
A full listing of the Big Ten Award recipients can be found here.
Penn State pulled the fourth seed and will open the Big Ten Tournament against fifth-seeded Ohio State at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The winner will face top-seeded Minnesota on Friday in the Big Ten semifinals.
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