COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The national honors continued to pour in for North Dakota head coach Brad Berry and junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi on Friday, adding to an already award-filled week. Berry garnered 2019-20 Coach of the Year honors from College Hockey News, while Kawaguchi was tabbed 2019-20 Player of the Year by USCHO (U.S. College Hockey Online) on Friday.
On Wednesday, Berry was named Coach of the Year by USCHO, while the same day Kawaguchi was tabbed First-Team All-USCHO and a Hobey Baker Award finalist. On Monday, Berry was named a finalist for the NCHC’s Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Award, while Kawaguchi was revealed as a finalist for NCHC Player of the Year and Forward of the Year.
Berry becomes the second NCHC head coach to earn Coach of the Year honors for College Hockey News, joining former Denver bench boss Jim Montgomery in 2017. Kawaguchi is also the second NCHC player to garner USCHO Player of the Year, joining former DU defenseman and current New Jersey Devil Will Butcher, also in 2017.
This season, Berry guided North Dakota to a 26-5-4 record in the regular season before the postseason was cut short, an eight-win improvement from last season. The Fighting Hawks finished first in the Pairwise Rankings, which determine the NCAA Tournament field, and would have been the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament, were it held. UND was also ranked No. 1 in the USCHO.com Poll seven weeks during the season and currently sit at No. 3. In NCHC play, Berry led North Dakota to the Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions, going 17-4-3-2, after being picked to finish fourth in the NCHC Preseason Media Poll. The NCHC’s Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Award will be announced on Thursday, March 26.
A First-Team All-NCHC selection, Kawaguchi (Abbotsford, B.C.) finished second nationally in scoring with 45 points, including 30 assists, which tied for sixth in the country. Five of his 15 goals were game-winners, which tied for fifth nationally. The undrafted free agent recorded a point in 24 of 33 games played, including 15 multi-point games, which were second nationally. Kawaguchi’s six three-point games were also second in the NCAA. The UND assistant captain was a three-time NCHC Player of the Week and two-time NCHC Player of the Month, including National Player of the Month in November. Kawaguchi finished with a +21 plus/minus, tying for 12th in the NCAA, while averaging 1.36 points per game on the year. NCHC Forward of the Year will be announced Wednesday, March 25 and NCHC Player of the Year a day later.
USCHO individual awards are voted on by all 12 conference columnists on the site. College Hockey News will reveal its Player of the Year and All-CHN Teams next week.
The NCHC’s individual award winners will also be revealed next week, starting on Monday with the Sportsmanship and Three Stars Awards, and finishing up next Thursday with the NCHC’s Player of the Year, Herb Brooks Coach of the Year and Senior Scholar-Athlete Award.