GLOUCESTER, Mass.  – Brian McCloskey, seventh-year head coach of the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, was named one of six finalists for the AHCA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Coach of the Year Award, the American Hockey Coaches Association announced Tuesday.

McCloskey, who finished as runner-up in the national Coach of the Year balloting in 2003 and 2006, earned his status as a finalist for this year’s award by virtue of his selection as the 2009 Hockey East Coach of the Year. It marked his fourth time feted as the league’s Coach of the Year.

McCloskey led the ’09 Wildcats to their sixth consecutive Hockey East regular-season title and fourth straight league tournament title en route to a fourth consecutive NCAA quarterfinal home game. The ‘Cats, who carried a 15-game winning streak into the NCAA tournament, finished the year with a 24-6-5 overall record. Under his guidance, the team produced a Top 10 Finalist for the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and a league-high three selections to the Hockey East First Team All-Star squad.

The other five finalists for the award are Brad Frost (Minnesota), Mark Johnson (Wisconsin), Jeff Kampersal (Princeton), Shannon Miller (Minnesota Duluth) and Michael Sisti (Mercyhurst).

To be a finalist for the award, a coach must either be voted a conference’s Coach of the Year or lead a team to the NCAA Frozen Four. The award will be presented April 25 in Naples, Fla.

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