Ryan, Cheverie, Kessel Named Coach of the Year Finalists

PWHL's finalists for Coach of the Year for the season were announced Wednesday.

Ryan, Cheverie, Kessel Named Coach of the Year Finalists
Kori Cheverie and her staff behind the bench of PWHL Montréal. (Photo Credit: jprphotographe/PWHL)

The PWHL announced on Wednesday the trio of coaches who are finalists for 2024's Coach of the Year award.

Boston’s Courtney Kessel, Troy Ryan from Toronto, and Kori Cheverie of Montréal make up the top three finalists for best bench boss of the PWHL's inaugural season. 

After a rough start, Kessel’s Boston team found their footing in the last month of the season to finish with a 8-4-3-9 record and the third seed in the league. Following the international break, Boston went 4-0-1-0 to to make the postseason. Even with a lackluster power play (7.5% conversion rate in the regular season) and a penalty kill that struggled to match (80% kill rate), Kessel was able to navigate her team to wins when it counted down the stretch. Because of that, PWHL Boston has made it to the Finals despite going up against an arguably better Montréal team.

Ryan was a no-brainer, as he was able to make Toronto the best team in the regular season (13-4-0-7 with 47 points) after an abysmal start. The team was perfect in overtime and the best offensive team in the league with a +19 goal differential. The team’s 11-game win streak, thanks in part to Ryan’s coaching and leadership, was the longest of any team all season. 

Montréal was one of the top teams consistently all season thanks to Cheverie, before eventually finishing in second in the PWHL with 41 total points (10-3-5-6 overall record). The team finished near the top of the standings in most of the major categories, including the power play, which had a late-season resurgence. The team also battled through injuries to key players throughout the lineup all year, including captain Marie-Philip Poulin, but their offensive depth and overall performance held true until they ran into Kessel's red-hot Boston squad in the semifinals.

All of the PWHL award winners, including Coach of the Year, will be announced in June following the end of the Walter Cup playoffs.