Even if the players on the men’s hockey team didn’t wear names and numbers on their jerseys, nobody would have a problem picking senior defenseman Doug Murray out in a second.
His broad-shouldered, 6-3, 240-pound frame is unmistakable. But even if his build didn’t set him apart, his presence on the ice would.
Murray checks harder than a microbiology final and has a shot nastier than any fish you could throw at Harvard. He is the rare player that can change the pace of a game with one bone-rattling check or one rocket slap shot from the point.
When Doug Murray is on the ice, people pay attention. Whether they are in the stands, on the bench, or most importantly, on the ice, they pay attention.
Last season, Murray turned heads by playing in every game and putting up stats from the blue line that most forwards would be jealous of: 11 goals and 21 assists for a total of 32 points in 35 games. He also added 67 penalty minutes to those numbers.
Murray’s success last year on a team that cruised through the ECAC regular season, went to the conference finals, and the national quarterfinals earned him national attention. So much, in fact, that the national media tabbed him as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker award, given to the nation’s top player.
To go along with that honor, Murray garnered numerous other awards, including — take a deep breath if you’re reading out loud — first team All-America, NCAA All-Tournament team, first team All-ECAC, ECAC All-Tournament team, Ivy League Player of the Year, first team All-Ivy, and team MVP.
Of course, Murray would put all of those accolades on the bottom shelf if it meant clearing space for championship trophies on the top.
“To be honest, I don’t feel extra pressure on myself. I feel extra pressure as a team to succeed. I couldn’t get any of those nominations if it wasn’t for the team,” he said. “I’m not a person who goes out there and wins by myself. Unless the team has a great year, it’s going to be tough for me to have a great year.”
Head coach Mike Schafer ’86 agrees that having a Hobey Baker winner on the team won’t be an individual accomplishment.
“If Doug is truly going to win that award, this team is going to have to go a long, long way,” Schafer said. “We’re going to have to go a long way for him to be showcased on a national level in order for people to see him.”
Murray enters this season as one of only two returning Hobey Baker finalists and a member of the preseason All-ECAC team. So how would his dream season play out?
“We would win the Ivy League, we would win the ECAC playoffs, and we would win the NCAAs,” he answered.
A true team player, Murray makes no mention of Mr. Baker or his award.
Douglas Thomas Lars Murray was born on March 12, 1980, and hails from Bromma, Sweden, a suburb of Stockholm. But to fully understand the Doug Murray story, you have to begin four centuries ago.
With the exception of his middle name, the name “Douglas Murray” doesn’t exactly sound as though it jumped from a page in the Stockholm phone book. Yet Murray is Swedish through and through.
“In the 1600s the first Murray came to Sweden, or at least the Murrays that I’m a part of, so I’ve been Swedish for 400 years.” Murray explained. “My middle name is Lars, so that’s pretty Swedish, and my mom’s maiden name is Bj