It is often said that the role of a captain is to lead by example. By that standard, the Big Green is in fine shape, as two of Dartmouth’s hockey captains were recently honored for the examples they’ve set with their play on the ice with nominations for major college hockey awards.
On Monday, Bernard A. Smith, president of the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, announced Big Green men’s hockey co-captain Trevor Byrne ’03 as one of twelve finalists for the Walter Brown Award, given annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.
Later on Monday, Big Green women’s hockey co-captain Carly Haggard ’03 was announced as one of ten candidates for the Patty Kazmaier Award, which is given each year to the most outstanding player in women’s college hockey.
The nominations were nothing new to either Dartmouth captain. Byrne was nominated for the Brown Award during his sophomore season, while Haggard was one of three finalists for the Kazmaier during the 2001-02 season. Still, though, both players expressed surprise at their nominations.
“A buddy of mine e-mailed me to congratulate me, and I hadn’t even heard yet,” said Byrne, who has tallied 17 points in 21 games
on the Dartmouth blueline. Byrne was unaware that the Walter Brown finalists had been named, causing his surprise to learn that he was among them.
“I was pretty surprised,” said Haggard, who has 24 goals and 14 assists to her name this season. “There are a lot of great players in the league, so it was a surprise to be nominated.”
Both Haggard and Byrne have games remaining against some of the “great players” who were nominated for the Kazmaier and Brown Awards, respectively. Tomorrow evening, Haggard and the Big Green women visit the Bright Hockey Center to take on top-ranked Harvard, led by Kazmaier candidates Angela Ruggiero and Jennifer Botterill. Then, on the last weekend of the regular season, Dartmouth travels to Princeton where Kazmaier candidate Andrea Kilbourne and the Tigers will attempt to exact revenge for last Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Big Green.
Byrne is also one of four ECAC nominees for his award. One of the other finalists, Chris Higgins of Yale, saw his team swept by Byrne and the Big Green with last Saturday’s 4-3 victory. The other two Walter Brown finalists from the ECAC, Tim Pettit and Noah Welch, will come to Thompson Arena on February 21, as they will lead No. 13 Harvard onto the ice against the Big Green. Neither Dartmouth captain feels that competing against a fellow nominee will change his or her approach to those games.
“I don’t really think about playing against another [Kazmaier] nominee,” said Haggard. “I always get fired up to play against a great player, whether she’s a nominee or not.” For Byrne, the Walter Brown nomination represents “a reflection on the whole team,” and the Hingham, Mass. native feels that “if the team’s successful, then I’ll be successful.
Certainly, team victories are the focus for both Haggard and Byrne as they continue to lead their teams to victory. However, based on current performance, both Haggard and Byrne could quite well find individual glory in their teams’ success.