Photo Credit: David Herman
SYRACUSE, NY - The Syracuse University ACHA Program has announced their leadership core for the upcoming 2023-24 season. Forwards Tim Cook and Sam Hutchinson as well as defenseman Connor Chesner will begin the new campaign as alternate captains. The Orange will have the flexibility to add to this group throughout the year - much like they have done the past two seasons.
Senior Sam Hutchinson will retain his role as alternate captain when the season begins in September. Hutchinson was appointed captainship duties in November of last season. The Boston, MA native led the team in points in 2022-23 during his junior year at ‘Cuse. Hutchinson is looking forward to building on his role next season but understands that he’ll have plenty of help in the leadership department.
“...it’s a big role but we’ve got leaders up and down the roster already, so I shouldn’t have to change too much.” Hutchinson continued “I’m just looking to set the tone and lead by example. Our core group is going into its 3rd season at Syracuse so we’ve got a lot of experience and I think that’ll go a long way. I really believe we’re gonna surprise a lot of people next season. “
Senior Tim Cook has also been appointed as an alternate captain for next season. The forward from Fort Covington, NY is known for his persistent work ethic and ability to play in every situation. In his second season with the Orange last year Cook was an important part of the team’s highly successful penalty kill (82.5%, ranked 17th in the ACHA), logged minutes on the powerplay, and played up and down the Syracuse lineup at both center and wing throughout the season. Cook has high hopes for Syracuse next season and is ready to employ a “lead by example” type of leadership style.
“I’m hoping as a captain I can inspire a high compete level in practice that we can bring into every game we play.” Cook went on “The goal is to be one of the better teams in the league and make playoffs at the end of the year.”
Connor Chesner is the third alternate captain that was named by Head Coach Chris Timmons this week. Chesner racked up 15 points (6-9-15) as one of the team’s top defenseman last year during his freshman campaign. Chesner earned recognition from the ESCHL as one of the two blueliners to be named to the All-Conference Rookie Team for 2022-23. Although he will be just a sophomore academically next year the d-man from Aspen, CO does not lack hockey experience. He played in the NA3HL and EHL following his high school career and will be one of the older players on the Syracuse roster next season at 22 years old.
Chesner discussed the opportunity to be a leader in just his second season at Syracuse.
“It’s an honor to be a captain of this team. I’m glad that the coaches have faith in myself and the other captains to lead Syracuse Hockey in the right direction. Being named a captain in my second season makes me even more honored.”
Chesner also has high hopes for the Orange next season.
“We want Syracuse hockey to be known as a hard working group that never takes their foot off the gas. We want to be ready to go the second we get back to campus. We have a special group here and all we have to do is put the pieces together. We started to click and get results at points last year but it is time to step up and show everyone what we are capable of.”
Head Coach Chris Timmons talked about the importance of setting his leadership group a little earlier than usual for next season.
“We had the ability to establish our captains pretty early on in the off-season this year which will allow them to have the summer to connect on goals, standards, and determine the necessary adjustments or changes needed so they can have a plan right at the beginning of the season and be ready to go.”
Timmons also discussed the possibility of adding to his leadership group throughout the 2023-24 season.
“Murph [Mackenzie Murphy] and Vinny [Vincent Barone] left some big shoes to fill which is why we have not yet announced our “C” just yet. I think that is something that is going to be earned as we progress through the first couple of months and maybe then we will reassess.” he continued “Hutch, Ches, and Cook each bring different types of leadership to the table and from our perspective have established respect amongst their peers. I think they’re going to do a great job welcoming our new incoming freshman and getting them acclimated. I have faith in this group to lead the team to a successful season.”
Syracuse will kick off training camp at the beginning of September and will open up the season later that month. The full 2023-24 schedule has not yet been released. For updates throughout the off-season be sure to follow the team on social media and the team’s official website.