The 2016 Senior Perspectives is the 11th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
For a complete listing of 2016 Senior Perspectives, click here.
Kyle Criscuolo, Men's Ice Hockey, Team Co-Captain
Hometown: Southampton, N.J.
House Affiliation: Adams
As an outgoing senior, there are many powerful stories that I could share. Harvard hockey has provided me with countless memories and lessons that I will certainly reflect upon in the years to come. But those stories wouldn’t exist and my experience wouldn’t have been the same without my teammates. For me, the group of guys that I have grown with over the past four years is what I will remember most. My classmates, the classes that came before me, and those that arrived after me; all of my teammates have made the last four years the greatest of my life.
In retrospect, our senior class is an unlikely band of best friends. Not a single one of us is all that similar to another in terms of personality. But that’s what makes the past two seasons so special in my mind - we didn’t need to be similar in order to come together and accomplish what many people did not believe to be in the cards for us. Each and every one of us led in our own way. We put in time and effort and we demanded progress and then we demanded success. There isn’t another group of guys that would have brought such different things to the table in a way that created the perfect blend.
The way that we burdened great responsibility in our early years, learned from our many mistakes, got back up in the face of adversity, endured the lulls of a long season in a tough conference, and overcame low expectations that outsiders had for us after our difficult freshmen and sophomore seasons will forever symbolize this group of seniors. I truly feel that our group was destined to arrive together and build upon the program’s existing foundation.
I will remember our sophomore spring in Palmer Dixon together and the change in mindset of the entire team that transpired. The revamping of our culture on and off the ice. And how every player embraced the changes in order to win.
We earned everything we got that next season and the season after that:
An ECAC Tournament championship (the first since 2006), an Ivy League title (the first since 2006), two in-season tournaments (the Shillelagh Tournament and the Mariucci Classic), and 2 NCAA tournament appearances.
While we’re proud of what we did on the ice, the point I want to emphasize is that without your teammates with whom you shared your struggles and your triumphs, the accomplishments don’t matter. It’s the people that you’re surrounded with when you push yourself to new limits that make it all worth while. When I look back on my career with my teammates, it will be rewarding to realize how each story involves all of us being together - as a family.
My advice for the following classes is to not wait around. It’s up to you and your teammates now to do something great as players and as people! Don’t waste a minute. You will live forever with the group that you are a part of, so make it memorable.
Also, utilize all of the tools that your classmates have to offer. It doesn’t matter how different a teammate may be, everyone has something different to offer that makes your class unique. Each year the team is a little bit different, and these nuances are what allow for growth.
And lastly, teach the younger classes the importance of respect, discipline, sacrifice, and integrity. Remember to highlight the Ethos once again. It is central to the overall goals of the team and should be tweaked each year to cater to the group. Harvard hockey is only as good as the last man on board. Hold each other accountable on the ice, in the classroom, and around campus. That’s what you signed up for - to make this program one that recruits want to be apart of because Harvard’s reputation is one of excellence.
I am tremendously grateful to be a member of the class of 2016. This is me thanking my classmates, and all of my teammates over the past four years. I have learned a lot from each of you and would not be the person I am today without you all.
Good luck to my brothers that carry the torch forward. It won’t be long before Harvard hockey finds itself back in the Frozen Four. The next leg of the journey for you all is already underway...#RoadtoChicago.