Danny Biega was named to his second preseason all-league team (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After advancing to the ECAC Hockey tournament championship game in 2011-12, the Harvard men's hockey team has been picked to finish third in the ECAC Hockey Media Association Preseason Poll, the league announced Wednesday. Defending champion Union was picked to finish first for the first time in the 14-year history of the poll.
"We are very excited, as most teams are at this time in the year," said Ted Donato, The Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey. "We feel like we have a good core of leadership and a good senior class. The atmosphere is positive and there is a level of excitement building off of a strong finish last year."
Harvard amassed 293 points in the poll, behind only the Dutchmen (343) and Ivy League rival Cornell (330). Quinnipiac is the closest team to the Crimson with 246 points and is followed by Yale (236), St. Lawrence (159), Clarkson (155) and Colgate (148). Rensselaer was picked ninth in the poll with 144 points, and Dartmouth (140), Princeton (108) and Brown (41) round out the preseason rankings.
The 2011-12 campaign saw the Crimson break the all-time record for ties in a season with 11, but Harvard was able to translate that into a first-round bye in the ECAC Hockey tournament. A dramatic 2-1 series victory over archrival Yale in the quarterfinals saw Harvard earn a berth in the league's final four and a 6-1 drubbing of Cornell in the semifinals earned the Crimson a spot in the final. Harvard was unable to top Union in the championship game, falling by a 3-1 final.
The league's media also announced its preseason all-conference team Wednesday, and senior captain Danny Biega earned one of two defenseman spots on the squad. It represents Biega's second straight appearance on the preseason all-conference team, and the fourth time in the past five years that a Crimson defenseman from the Biega family has earned ECAC preseason honors. Older brother Alex Biega '10 was a preseason pick in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Danny Biega joins goalie Troy Grosenick (Union), defenseman Mat Modie (Union) and forwards Greg Carey (St. Lawrence), Connor Jones (Quinnipiac) and Daniel Carr (Union) on the preseason all-conference roster.
Biega had a standout year for the Crimson in 2011-12, culminating in a selection to the CCM Hockey All-America first team. The veteran defenseman was the runner-up in voting for the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and took home the league's Best Defensive Defenseman award, as well as receiving all-league and all-tournament accolades. He was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection and a fan balloting candidate for the Hobey Baker Award. His 35 points (10g, 25a) were the most by a Harvard defenseman since the 1993-94 season.
For the full release, please visit the ECAC Hockey website here.