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Dan Ford Named 121st Captain of Harvard Men's Hockey at Team Awards Banquet

Ted Donato, the Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Hockey, stands with Dan Ford, who will serve as team captain in 2013-14.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
The Harvard men’s hockey team held its annual awards banquet at the Harvard Club of Boston, naming Dan Ford the 121st captain of Harvard men’s hockey and handing out four team awards Monday night. 2013-14 will be the 11th consecutive season that a Harvard defenseman has donned the “C” on his jersey.

The John Tudor Memorial Cup, presented to Harvard’s most valuable player, went to senior captain Danny Biega. Freshman Jimmy Vesey took home the George Percy award as the team’s top rookie, fellow freshman Kyle Criscuolo earned the Ralph “Cooney” Weiland Award for devotion to the game and classmate Brayden Jaw was awarded the Donald Angier Hockey Trophy as Harvard’s most improved player.

Ford has been a mainstay on the Harvard blueline since his arrival in Cambridge, playing in every game for the last three seasons. As a freshman, he was the only member of his class to skate in all 34 contests, earning him the George Percy Award. In 2011-12, Ford notched his best season from a scoring standpoint, collecting 15 points on two goals and 13 assists which stood third among Crimson defensemen. This past season, Ford buoyed a battered Crimson defensive unit, finishing the year with six points on two goals and four helpers. His first goal of the season came in a 7-4 upset of local rival No. 11 Boston University in the Beanpot consolation, and his second was a short-handed effort three days later against Colgate.

Biega headlined the quartet of award winners Monday, taking home the Tudor Cup. A tenacious defender who regularly played the most minutes of any skater on the team, Biega, now playing with the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers, finished the season with 10 points on two goals and eight assists. He skated in all 32 contests and earned the third All-Ivy League honor of his career with selection to the all-league second team. Biega became Harvard hockey’s first-ever finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award and was the only player from ECAC Hockey to earn that status this season. He also received the 2013 Joe Tomasello “Unsung Hero” Award from the New England Hockey Writers Association. His 132 career games played rank eighth all-time in Harvard history, one ahead of his brother, Alex, who played from 2006-10.

Vesey made an immediate impact this season, notching three points on a goal and an assist in his first collegiate game. He earned the first two ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week Awards that he was eligible for, was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Month for November and received AHCA honorable mention honors for the national Rookie of the Month Award. He finished the regular season tied for the lead in rookie scoring in ECAC games with 15 points on nine goals and six helpers, and his nine goals represented 20 percent of Harvard’s goals in ECAC play. He totaled three ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week awards in his inaugural campaign with the Crimson. Following his first season in Cambridge, Vesey was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, becoming the 13th player in Harvard history to capture the award. He finished the year tied for third on the team with 18 points and shared the team lead in goals with Marshall Everson with 11.

Criscuolo was a polarizing player whenever he was on the ice, and came back from an early injury to make a significant impact during the team’s stretch run. He collected his first collegiate points on a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over Brown, and put home a one-timer in a 4-1 upset of No. 10 Cornell at Lynah Rink in front of a national television audience. Criscuolo collected five points in his first six games back from the injury, including a pair of assists in a 7-4 win over No. 11 Boston University in the Beanpot Consolation game. He netted a pair of goals in a 6-2 win on the road at Clarkson, and scored Harvard’s first goal in a 2-1 overtime upset of the nation’s No. 1 team, Quinnipiac, March 1 at Bright Hockey Center. He earned one of four ECAC Rookie of the Week Awards for the Crimson this season, and after starting the season skating on Harvard’s third line, centered the top line for the Crimson in the first-round playoff series against Dartmouth.

Jaw came in as a part of a highly-touted freshman class and started the season as a fourth-line forward for the Crimson. He scored a goal in Harvard’s exhibition game against McGill but was unable to find the scoresheet in the first regulation games of his collegiate career.  When the injury bug bit the Crimson, Jaw answered the call, shifting to defense and starting on Harvard’s second defensive pair Jan. 18 against archrival No. 12 Yale in a nationally-televised game. The freshman adapted quickly to his new position, and before long was skating alongside captain Danny Biega on the Crimson’s top defensive tandem. Jaw collected his first collegiate goal on a slapshot from the right point in a 6-2 road victory over Clarkson, and solidified his spot within the Harvard defense for the remainder of the season, helping the Crimson kill 11 of 12 penalties over its final five games of the season.