Future looks bright for SU club men’s ice hockey after stellar start to season

To reinforce pupil journalism and the content material you’re keen on, turn into a member of The Daily Orange nowadays.

After Syracuse men’s ice hockey misplaced 6-2 in its season-opener to Kent State on Sept. 23, freshman goalkeeper AJ Finta began in opposition to the Golden Flashes day after today. Finta, taking part in his first collegiate sport, made 25 saves on 27 pictures, serving to SU get its first win of the season.

Following a 6-20 season remaining 12 months, Syracuse’s club men’s ice hockey group has began 2-5-1 via 8 video games, choosing up wins over Kent State and No. 23 Delaware. The group returned 23 avid gamers to their roster, including 11 learners, who’ve made an have an effect on early for the Orange.

Finta stated the nerves “were definitely there” when he discovered he was once beginning in opposition to Kent State, particularly the day after the Golden Flashes “had their way” in opposition to the Orange. He stated that as a freshman, it was once a large alternative to “prove himself” as he splits time with 3 different goaltenders.

Finta performed at Middlesex School (Massachusetts), competing in opposition to various New England prep faculty groups that he stated are very equivalent to the skillset and tempo on the club degree in Syracuse. But he stated the adulthood and physicality of the avid gamers was once an adjustment.

“Every team we play has a bunch of players that are anywhere from 22-26 (years old), and as you can expect, these guys shoot the puck and drive to the net much harder than your average 14-18 year-old high school player,” Finta stated.

On the offensive finish, freshman ahead Jack Wren has sparked the SU assault, main the group with 4 objectives and is 2nd with 5 issues via seven video games. He put SU in entrance in opposition to No. 6 Stony Brook, scoring a power-play purpose early within the first length. Wren scored two game-tying objectives in a detailed 5-4 extra time loss to No. 25 Drexel and notched the lone purpose in a 9-1 loss to Stony Brook within the first sport of the back-to-back.

“Kind of just teaching the freshmen now, I think there’s a lot of hunger, a lot of anticipation about this year and I think the expectations are higher than in years past,” captain Mack Murphy stated.

Head trainer Chris Timmons, who took over this system at the start of remaining season after training at Oswego State, stated that the adaptation between this season’s group and remaining season’s is the camaraderie with avid gamers reconnecting.

Now a senior, Murphy was once appointed because the group’s captain with Vincent Barone because the assistant captain, taking over management roles to broaden the learners. Murphy stated that being captain has its personal problem. He’s been captain of alternative groups earlier than, however his focal point is “turning the tide” on remaining season after now not getting the effects the group sought after.

“(The captains have) been good so far, just trying to keep them engaged, knowing that this season isn’t going to be easy, they’re doing a little bit of learning as well,” Timmons stated.


Megan Thompson | Digital Design Director

After splitting the hole weekend matchups with the Golden Flashes, the group struggled, shedding 5 consecutive video games by means of a blended 33-13. It’s additionally been shut in opposition to those ranked warring parties, shedding by means of one to Stony Brook and Drexel in extra time.

Syracuse bounced again despite the fact that, snapping the shedding streak with a 3-2 win at the highway at Delaware on Sunday, its first win over the Blue Hens since earlier than the pandemic.

“We’ve got to learn how to close out the close games,” Murphy stated. “That comes from us being a young team.”

Timmons stated that as trainer, he teaches his avid gamers, particularly the learners, to be informed from their disasters in order that they may be able to modify their taking part in taste in opposition to positive warring parties. They’ve been receptive to ideas, despite the fact that there’s nonetheless a studying curve, he stated.

It’s nonetheless early within the season as Syracuse has 23 extra common season video games earlier than possible postseason play starts in March. The group performs subsequent on Friday at Buffalo within the first sport of a back-to-back, home-and-home earlier than taking part in a number of colleges within the Northeast.

“We’re a program that has struggled in recent years post-COVID, but anyone who knows the history of the program knows about its winning culture,” Finta stated.


Leave a Comment