MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR, RUNNER-UP: Danny Biega

Emily G Savage

In most important situations last year, whether it be on the power play or in crunch time, junior Danny Biega was in the thick of things, and his talent and leadership skills shined brightly this past season for the Harvard men’s hockey team.

Biega, recently named a first-team All-American, was a top contributor both offensively and defensively, winning the ECAC Best Defensive Defenseman award while also notching 1.06 points per game—second best nationally for defensemen.

“He’s one of those guys who plays with confidence and plays with a level of competitiveness that is galvanizing for his teammates,” Crimson coach Ted Donato ’91 says. “Danny had a huge year for us.”

The defenseman from Montreal was an integral part of the team, manning the point on the nation’s best power play and coming up with huge plays at many critical points throughout the season while leading Harvard with a +14 rating.

“He also ate up huge minutes for us, and defensively, he was incredible,” Donato says. “He probably played more as far as ice time and important minutes for us than any player that I’ve coached at Harvard.”

Biega finished the season with 35 points—the most for a Crimson defenseman since 1993-94—which included 10 goals and 25 assists, the highest assist total for any Harvard player since 2002-03. His 14 power-play points were also the most in the ECAC.

Biega’s elite play continued in the ECAC playoffs, when he tallied five points in five games. In the Crimson’s elimination game against Yale in the ECAC quarterfinals, Biega scored two huge goals for Harvard, helping the Crimson eventually beat the Bulldogs, 4-3, in double overtime. Harvard took the third game of the series in an emphatic 8-2 win and ultimately made the conference championship, where it fell to Union, 3-1.

With his performance over the past two years, Biega became the first Harvard defenseman to record two consecutive 30-point seasons since 1986-87.

In addition to being named a first-team All-American along with teammate and assistant captain Alex Killorn, Biega was named to the ECAC First Team, was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection, and was the runner-up for ECAC Hockey Player of the Year

Despite his strong stats and numerous awards, Biega attributes his success to the overall improvement of the team this past season. And he will look to continue to extend this team success as the 120th captain of Harvard hockey next season, wearing the same “C” on his jersey that his older brother Alex wore in 2009-10.

“It’s a huge honor,” Biega says. “With that comes a lot of responsibility. It definitely means a lot to me, and I’m definitely taking it seriously. So next year we’re just hoping to continue on the right path and achieve more than we achieved this year.”

—Staff writer David Mazza can be reached at damazza@college.harvard.edu.

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