Freshman Friday is a Q-and-A feature with new members of the men’s hockey team. Click on the player’s photo or name to read more on the Cornell Athletics website.
#24 Sam Malinski … Defenseman from Lakeville, Minnesota
Prior to Cornell, Malinski was named the NAHL Central Division Defenseman of the Year and was placed on the NAHL Second All-Star Team after posting 45 points on 14 goals and 31 assists and a plus-20 rating in 59 games with Bismarck. Prior to splitting the 2017-18 season between the Bobcats and the USHL Cedar Rapids Rough-Riders, Malinski helped Lakeville South HS win the Section 1AA title and a fourth-place finish in Minnesota.
#20 Matt Stienburg … Forward from Halifax, Nova Scotia
Prior to Cornell, Stienburg was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft as the 63th overall pick. He is the highest selection of a Cornell player since Riley Nash was picked in the first round in 2007. Stienburg joins the Big Red after racking up 71 goals and 89 assists for 160 points in 113 games over two seasons with St. Andrew’s College in Ontario – following in the footsteps of new teammates Morgan Barron and Matthew Galajda. He helped the Saints win the Canadian prep school national title, earning national and team MVP honors.
#10 Travis Mitchell … Defenseman from South Lyon, Michigan
Mitchell has spent the last three seasons in the top tier of juniors in the USHL, first with the Muskegon Lumberjacks before competing most of the last two years with Omaha. He nearly doubled his point total in his second season with the Lancers and led the team’s blueliners with 29 points on three goals and team-high 26 assists. He was selected to play in the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospect Game, and he helped the U.S. win gold at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge (where he was a teammate of classmate Jack Malone). A product of HoneyBaked Hockey Club, Mitchell helped the U16 team reach the national tournament in 2016.
#29 Ben Berard … Forward from Duncan, British Columbia
Berard arrives after an injury-truncated third season in Powell River, though he did score 11 times in just 15 games while serving as team captain. He accumulated 115 career points in 135 games for his BCHL career, including 53 goals and 62 assists. Berard marks the fifth player to come to Cornell via Powell River in the last three years, reuniting with juniors Kyle Betts, Matt Cairns, Cam Donaldson and Tristan Mullin – all of whom were teammates with Berard during the 2016-17 season.
#21 Zach Tupker … Forward from Collingwood, Ontario
Zach Tupker was named to the 2019 CCHL First All-Star Team with a team-best 65 points on 24 goals and 41 assists in 65 games last season with Carleton Place. He also won a bronze medal with the CCHL All-Star team at the 2018-19 Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia. In 2017, Zach competed with Team Canada East in the World Junior A Challenge, and he was selected to play in the the CJHL Top Prospect Game. In his first of three seasons with Carleton Place, he helped the Canadians win the league title and advance to the Fred Page Cup finals. Zach’s not-identical twin brother, Ben, is also a part of the incoming class for Cornell men’s hockey.
#13 Jack Malone … Forward from Madison, New Jersey
Malone was recently selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks after breaking through during his second full season in the USHL. He racked up 59 points on 19 goals and 40 assists in 57 games, more than quadrupling his point total from his rookie campaign with Youngstown. He attended the USA Hockey Select 15, 16 and 17 Camps, and he helped the U.S. win gold at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge (where he was a teammate of classmate Travis Mitchell). Malone also helped Delbarton School win consecutive New Jersey state titles in 2016 and 2017.
#14 Ben Tupker … Forward from Collingwood, Ontario Ben Tupker was named to the 2019 CCHL Third All-Star Team with 56 points on a team-high 24 goals and 32 assists in 59 games last season with Carleton Place. He also won a bronze medal with the CCHL All-Star team at the 2018-19 Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia. In 2017-18, Ben Tupker was invited to Team Canada East training camp for the World Junior A Challenge and he was selected to play in the the CJHL Top Prospect Game. In his first of three seasons with Carleton Place, he helped the Canadians win the league title and advance to the Fred Page Cup finals. His not-identical twin brother, Zach, is also a part of the incoming class for Cornell men’s hockey.
#2 Peter Muzyka … Defenseman from Toronto, Ontario Regarded as a defensive stalwart, Muzyka had three assists in 39 games while endured a lengthy mid-season absence due to injury last year in Penticton. His only season out west came after two strong seasons with the OJHL’s North York Rangers, where he was a key cog on a team defense that yielded a league-low 110 goals in 2017-18. He played in the Eastern Canada Cup tournament that year and was also selected to play in the CJHL Prospects Game.
#5 Sebastian Dirven … Defenseman from Bainsville, Ontario Dirven competed in the top-tier USHL for each of the last two seasons with Central Illinois. He ranked second among the team’s blueliners last year in scoring with six goals and 17 assists for 23 points in 61 games, and his plus-11 rating was tied for the team lead. In his first season with the Flying Aces, he competed alongside sophomore Max Andreev. Originally from the eastern reaches of Ontario, Dirven helped Canada East win silver at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge. He played two full seasons with the CCHL’s Cornwall Colts before his tenure in Central Illinois, earning CCHL third-team all-star honors in 2017.