Crimson Picked Fourth; Alex Biega Named Preseason All-ECAC

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-The Harvard men's hockey team was picked to finish fourth in ECAC Hockey by the league's coaches and media and senior defenseman Alex Biega has been named to the coaches' and media's preseason all-league teams, the league announced Monday on its preseason media conference call.

The Crimson, coming off a fifth-place league finish in 2008-09, received a first-place vote in the ECAC Hockey Writers and Broadcasters Association Preseason Poll. The top half of each poll was identical. Defending champion Yale was picked first, followed by Cornell, Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth and Union. Yale earned seven first-place votes in the coaches' poll and 15 in the media poll. Cornell received three first-place votes from the coaches and seven from the media, while Princeton got two from each.

"We're very excited about the season," Ted Donato, the Robert  D. Ziff '88 Head Coach of Harvard  Men's Ice Hockey told reporters. "We have a very talented group of young players that we're adding to a solid group of veterans. There's a lot to be excited about."

The coaches and media agreed on the finish of only one team in the bottom half of their preseason polls. The coaches selected Colgate seventh. Quinnipiac and Rensselaer were tied for eighth, followed by St. Lawrence, Clarkson and Brown in the final three positions. In the media poll, St. Lawrence was seventh, Clarkson eighth, Colgate ninth, Rensselaer 10th, Quinnipiac 11th and Brown 12th.

Biega, a two-time selection to the All-ECAC Hockey third team, received his fourth and fifth preseason all-conference honors. It was his third straight selection to the media's all-league squad and his second straight to the coaches' team. He led Harvard with 16 assists last season and placed second on the squad with 20 points. Biega was also a key part of ECAC Hockey's top power play in league games (19.2 percent).

The Crimson captain was one of four players named preseason all-league by both the ECAC coaches and media. Princeton goaltender Zane Kalemba, Colgate forward David McIntyre and Cornell forward Riley Nash were picked to both teams. Dartmouth's Evan Stephens was the other defenseman on the coaches' team, while Cornell's Brendon Nash made the media's squad. The coaches chose Yale forward Sean Backman to their preseason team, while the media selected his teammate, Mark Arcobello.

Harvard returns 20 letterwinners from previous seasons and opens the 2009-10 regular season Oct. 30 at Dartmouth.

ECAC Hockey Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Yale (7 first-place votes)
2. Cornell (3)
3. Princeton (2)
4. Harvard
5. Dartmouth
6. Union
7. Colgate
8. Quinnipiac
10. St. Lawrence
11. Clarkson
12. Brown

ECAC Hockey Coaches Preseason All-Conference Team
Goaltender - Zane Kalemba, Princeton
Defenseman - Alex Biega, Harvard
Defenseman - Evan Stephens, Dartmouth
Forward - David McIntyre, Colgate
Forward - Riley Nash, Cornell
Forward - Sean Backman, Yale

ECAC Hockey Writers and Broadcasters Association Preseason Poll
1. Yale (15)
2. Cornell (7)
3. Princeton (2)
4. Harvard (1)
5. Dartmouth
6. Union
7. St. Lawrence
8. Clarkson
9. Colgate
10. Rensselaer
11. Quinnipiac
12. Brown

ECAC Hockey Writers and Broadcasters Association Preseason All-Conference Team
Goaltender - Zane Kalemba, Princeton
Defense - Alex Biega, Harvard
Defense - Brendon Nash, Cornell
Forward - David McIntyre, Colgate
Forward - Riley Nash, Cornell
Forward - Mark Arcobello, Yale