Michael Wenye Li / Sun File Photo

Cornell announced its nine-member freshman class over the summer.

August 16, 2019

An Early Look at Cornell Men’s Hockey’s Freshman Class

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After coming within one game of the Frozen Four and graduating a handful of key players, especially on the blue line, Cornell men’s hockey announced its nine-member freshman classwhich includes two NHL Draft picks — over the summer.

The class is headlined by forwards Matt Stienburg and Jack Malone, who were picked in the third and sixth rounds, respectively, of June’s draft.

Last year’s roster had five seniors, including three everyday defensemen. The nine-member class of 2023 includes five forwards and four defensemen. Cornell’s 2019-20 roster features nine freshmen, seven sophomores, 10 juniors and three seniors.

With more than two months to figure out line combinations and defensive pairings, here’s a quick look at the Red’s newcomers, with biographical information and quotes from head coach Mike Schafer ’86 via cornellbigred.com:

Ben Berard
Forward — 6 feet, 190 pounds — Duncan, British Columbia — Powell River Kings (BCHL)
Schafer: “Ben is a pure goal-scorer. He’s someone who can definitely get pucks in the back of the net.”

Sebastian Dirven
Defenseman — 6-foot-3, 195 pounds — Bainsville, Ontario — Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL)
Schafer: “Sebastian has great feet and great length for a defenseman. He’s a very solid defensive defenseman who’s also a puck-mover. His skating skills can set him apart for someone who also has really good size.”

Sam Malinski
Defenseman — 5-foot-11, 183 pounds — Lakeville, Minn. — Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL)
“Sam is a great puck-mover. He was the top-scoring defenseman on his team last year. He does a great job of finding seams and getting pucks down to the net on the power play.”

Jack Malone
Forward — 6-foot-1, 195 pounds — Madison, N.J. — Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
Schafer: “Jack was one of the top scoring forwards in the USHL last year. His game has really developed. He’s a strong on-top-of-the-puck forward who can create offense, plus he has really good size and can play physical.”

Travis Mitchell
Defenseman — 6-foot-3, 205 pounds — South Lyon, Mich. — Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Schafer: “Travis is another strong two-way defenseman. He can defend, but he can also get up into the play. He can really shoot the puck and he created some offense for his team last year in the USHL.”

Peter Muzyka
Defenseman — 6-foot-3, 198 pounds — Toronto, Ontario — Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Schafer: “Peter does a great job defending. He has great feet, which allows him to defend against anyone he plays against to go with his size.”

Matt Stienburg
Forward — 6-foot-2, 188 pounds — Halifax, Nova Scotia — St. Andrew’s College
Schafer: “He’s a really strong two-way forward. He adds that element of not just offense, but he can also impact the game with his physical play.”

Ben Tupker
Forward — 6-foot-3, 195 pounds — Collingwood, Ontario — Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL)

Zach Tupker
Forward — 6-foot-1, 190 pounds — Collingwood, Ontario — Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL)
Schafer: “This is the fourth set of twins that I’ve had the opportunity to coach at Cornell. The Tupker brothers are tireless workers and great two-way players. They kill penalties and have played on the power play. They’re very, very tenacious as a set of forwards.”