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Bears’ Carbery wins Pieri Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Spencer Carbery of the Hershey Bears is the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2020-21 season.

The award is voted on by fellow coaches and members of the media in each of the league’s 28 active member cities.

Under Carbery’s guidance, the Bears finished atop the AHL standings with a record of 24-7-2-0, a .758 points percentage that ranks as the second-highest mark in the franchise’s 83-year history. Hershey, which lost in regulation just once on home ice all season (14-1-2-0), allowed a league-low 2.33 goals per game in 2020-21 and ranked eighth in scoring (3.33), and Carbery sent several players to the National Hockey League to compete with the Washington Capitals this season while continuing to oversee the development of Caps prospects such as Alex Alexeyev, Garrett Pilon, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Brett Leason, Martin Fehervary, Kody Clark, Riley Sutter and 2020-21 AHL All-Rookie forward Connor McMichael.

Named head coach of the Bears on June 26, 2018, Carbery has led the club to a three-year record of 104-50-9-8, good for a .658 points percentage, including a 53-18-3-2 mark (111 points, .730) in their last 76 regular-season games. The 39-year-old native of Victoria, B.C., spent the 2017-18 season as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Providence Bruins, helping the club to an impressive 45-26-3-2 record, and served as head coach of Hershey’s ECHL affiliate in South Carolina from 2011 to 2016, winning that league’s Coach of the Year honors in 2013-14. Carbery is the first Hershey head coach to win the Pieri Award since John Paddock in 1988.

The Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1968, honors the late Mr. Pieri, a long-time contributor to the AHL as the owner and general manager of the Providence Reds and a member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame. Previous winners of the award include Frank Mathers (1969), Fred Shero (1970), Al MacNeil (1972, ‘77), John Muckler (1975), Jacques Demers (1983), Larry Pleau (1987), Mike Milbury (1988), John Paddock (1988), Marc Crawford (1993), Barry Trotz (1994), Robbie Ftorek (1995, ‘96), Peter Laviolette (1999), Claude Julien and Geoff Ward (2003), Claude Noel (2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2005), Kevin Dineen (2006), Scott Gordon (2008), Scott Arniel (2009), John Hynes (2011), Jon Cooper (2012), Willie Desjardins (2013), Jeff Blashill (2014), Mike Stothers (2015), Rick Kowalsky (2016), Roy Sommer (2017), Pascal Vincent (2018), Mike Vellucci (2019) and Karl Taylor (2020).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The winner of the 2020-21 Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award (outstanding goaltender) will be announced Tuesday.