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Senior Spotlight

By Zoe Jurmann and Luke Burgess

Photo by David Herman (@dhermsphoto)

Hockey is the ultimate team sport, it’s a game that centers around sacrifice and putting your head down, and working hard. This weekend, the focus is on the six seniors who never hesitated to give maximum effort for their teammates.

Seniors Mackenzie Murphy, Jordan Edelstein, Nikolas Manousos, Vincent Barone, Mathew Zarb, and Connor Flanagan have all been core members of this Syracuse team since their freshmen years. They have given their all to the Orange during their years, including a Covid season in which they worked to keep the team afloat despite not having a season. As a way of giving back to the seniors that have meant everything to the Orange and to honor their hard work and dedication for the past 4 years, we asked the other team members to share what each senior means to them.

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

Captain Mackenzie Murphy has been a long time leader for the Orange. Working hard both on the ice and behind the scenes, Murphy has led this team through hardships and highs during his four years. He has inspired and taught many of his teammates what it means to be a leader. Here is what his teammates had to say about their Captain.

Max Gargurevich: can’t say enough about him, incredible player, even better leader, really just a stand up guy all in all.

Brock Alvers: Don’t even know where to start with him. He’s done so much for this program during his four years here. He’s been an unbelievable friend, teammate, and mentor to me throughout the 2 years I’ve known him. Honored to be a part of his journey through Syracuse hockey.

Luke Wong: Murph is the best leader I have played hockey with. He does so much for the program on and off the ice and serves as a bridge between the players and coaches. I’m proud to be teammates with him.

Lucas Skolnick: Murph helped show us the grit, loyalty, and commitment it took to make this program one of the best in the ACHA

Zach Schwartz: where do I start with murph. He is honestly one of the nicest, sincerest people I’ve ever met. He has been a great teammate and friend on and off the ice. Without Murph, there would be no Syracuse hockey program. Not to mention, he actually had to hire our coach. What a man.

Tim Cook: Without Murph, this team might’ve fallen apart. Covid was hard for the team but as a sophomore, he took a leadership role and got us through it.

Alex Oakes: Can't understand how he does so much with school, hockey, podcast, etc. It motivates me to want to succeed more”

Photo by Jim Parker

Tony Larkin: Murphs ambition is second to nobody. i have nothing but admiration for everything he has done during his time at Syracuse. From running the SU Hockey social media, to The Hockey House pod, murph gets shit done. I would not even be at Syracuse if I did not stumble across the first couple of tik toks he made for SU hockey. He inspired me to take chances and to act upon my ideas. Thank you Murph, for everything.

Jack Alecia: Murph- the Capitan, Heart and soul of the team. Don’t think this team would be possible without him.

Chris Spano: Murph has an unprecedented work ethic and passion for what he does. He’s a guy who does it all and will never be replaced.

Zach Goldenberg: couldn’t do anything we do without him. Replacing him isn’t possible. One of a kind. Never seen anyone work as hard as he does on and off the ice.

Marty Caster: Not enough can be said about Murph, he’s the best leader I’ve ever played with

Sean Caddo: captain who leads by example, one of the best all around guys on the team

Anthony Solt: Huge role model for me professionally. All the work he has done with the Hockey House Pod and how much pride he has for both his brand and for ACHA hockey is very inspiring. All the graphics he puts together, all the time that he puts into what he produced, and how he always does it with a smile on his face is something I hope to inherit.

Connor Chesner: Murph is a big reason why I chose Syracuse. He has been a great leader and mentor for me and I am going to miss him as my D partner next year.

Evan Vassilovski: the captain of our team and the guy who does it all sets the standard for how everyone should strive to work on and off the ice.

Sam Hutchinson: Murph was the first guy on the team I met and made me feel like I belonged from the jump, he brought me around the house and he is a great leader and friend, and a very selfless guy.

AJ Finta: the glue that holds this program together, don’t know where we’d be if we didn’t have someone with Murphy’s drive and dedication to being our captain

Matt Fanning: I have never met someone who cares so much about growing club hockey. He always has always such a positive and uplifting guy both at the rink and when you see him on campus.

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

Goaltender Jordan Edelstein has been the driving force of passion behind the team. No one has dedicated more time and energy to improving his game and mindset. Edelstein has proven that it not only takes skill, but heart to show who you truly are. Here is what Jordan’s teammates have to say about him.

Max Gargurevich: nobody loves to play like jordo, he’s got so much passion for the game and it shows every time he steps on the ice. not to mention he absolutely owns buffalo

Brock Alvers: Another guy who’s put his heart and soul into the program. Heartbroken to see him leave, but glad to see how far his journey has taken him.

Luke Wong: Jordo always comes to the rink with tenacity and he’s always putting in work to improve. He loves the game and gives it his all, no matter the situation.

Lucas Skolnick: Jordo loves hockey and is always a fun person to be around. He always looks to have a good time and work hard on the ice.

Zach Schwartz: Jordo has always been a character. Always makes you laugh whether it’s because he has a funny joke or a horrible joke. He took me under his arm my freshman year and made me feel welcome. Thanks for all the car rides btw.

Tim Cook: Jordo would do anything for anyone on this team. He always has people’s back and will help you through anything.

Alex Oakes: Never boring, Jordo will always have a smile on his face and will be down for anything, whether it’s dye or just getting food

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

Tony Larkin: JORDO, JORDO, JORDO!!! An absolute beauty on the team, who goes out of his way to be friendly with every guy in the room. It is evident he cares about every guy on the team, and it is admirable. Jordo does everything and then more with everything that is asked of him. He is a guy you want to have on your team and in your locker room.

Jack Alecia: Jordo - one of the first guys I met when I got to school, love our friendly practice battles and Chirps.

Chris Spano: A team player. A guy who’s always been very helpful to the new guys.

Zach Goldenberg: great roommate and an even better teammate.

Marty Castner: The driver battle bus - Loved him for always driving me and the other rookies to practice last year

Sean Caddo: helps out with everything that is asked of him, works hard in practice

Anthony Solt: Would always remind me with his speeches to enjoy the time that you have to play at Syracuse because of how quickly the time goes.

Connor Chesner: he has such a passion for hockey and it bleeds throughout the team

Evan Vassilovski: One of the nicest guys on the team and will miss the Chel battles.

Sam Hutchinson: Jordo always has a smile on his face and is always positive, and he brings up the mood for other guys. He’s a great roommate and will always go out of his way for his friends.

AJ Finta: One of the hardest working guys on the team, always excited to be at the rink

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

Vincent Barone is not only a leader of the team, but he is the voice and the energy that brings life to the Orange. Being a loud voice in the locker room is something the forward has long been known for, and his skill, leadership and loyalty on the ice only go to back up his game. Here is what Barone’s teammates have to say about him.

Max Gargurevich: he’s an absolute dog on the ice, he busts his tail every time he steps on, i’ve gotten to play a lot with him this year and he’s been a hell of a player for us this year

Brock Alvers: can’t believe his time is running out. Unbelievable leader and person to every guy in the locker room. I think I speak for all of us when I say he’s going to leave a long lasting impact on each guy in the room.

Luke Wong: I respect Vinny for never being afraid to speak up. He’s one of the loudest guys on the ice and he always has something to say us. He has confidence in the way he leads, but is also willing to hear and consider other’s opinions.

Lucas Skolnick: Vinny was one of the first guys who made me feel part of the team. He always looked out for us younger guys and helped us bond with each other.”

Zach Schwartz: Vin has just always been the guy, always looks out for you and has a beast of a dog, Lou. He has also been an amazing captain. Will miss him next year for sure.

Tim Cook: Vinny has always been a role model for me and has always had me under his wing.

Alex Oakes: Go to guy if you wanna laugh and smile

Photo by Jim Parker

Tony Larkin: Vinny took me under his wing the moment I stepped foot into the hockey house for the very first time. one of my better friends here at SU, Vinny lights up any room he walks into, as he is easily the most energetic guy every time. His work ethic is a disease. He gives 110% at every single thing he does and there are not enough words to describe it. Vinny showed me it was okay to be myself, and to not care what other people have to say. Im proud to call Vinny my vet, but prouder to call him my friend.

Jack Alecia: Vinny - I don’t think I have ever met a harder worker. Always see vin with a smile on his face. Louie is also one of my favorite dogs ever

Chris Spano: Vinny brings great leadership and a great work ethic. A guy I can always call on for anything on and off the ice.

Zach Goldenberg: great leader, always gives 110% no matter what. great guy to live with and a really good friend

Marty Castner: One of the most energetic guys you’ll see in practice. He will be the first guy to lay a hit and set an example for everyone else

Sean Caddo: love the intensity during practice, makes everyone better

Anthony Solt: Showed me how important it is to put in hard work. Putting in your best effort and working your hardest during each shift or practice is critical for finding success and bettering yourself.

Connor Chesner: he works 110% everyday and is great at pushing everyone to be there best

Evan Vassilovski: Never met anyone who is able to bring the energy into any room like you are. Gonna miss it next year.

Sam Hutchinson: Vin is one of the most hardworking and positive minded people I know, and he always lifts everyone up and is a huge motivator for the team. Always good energy and a smile on his face. He can leave Staten Island, but it can’t leave him 🤌

AJ Finta: A true Italian stallion, will get on you when he needs to but truly loves every guy on this team like family.

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

Being the oldest on the team has never been an issue for goaltender Nikolas Manousos. Taking many younger players under his wing and showing them the ropes of ESCHL hockey is something Manousos’ teammates love about him. Nik’s sense of humor and ability to brighten anyone's day have been the driving force behind his game. Here is what his teammates had to say about him.

Max Gargurevich: Hilarious guy, he’s having an absolutely unreal season, he’s literally engaged, couldn’t be happier for him he’s really in a great spot with everything and he’s been such a good guy to be around

Brock Alvers: Become one of my best friends over the last two years. Someone I can lean on for anything. Always full of stories, laughs and a massive smile on his face. I hope to be half the player and person he was someday. Brought out the best in every person each day. My heart hurts to see him go

Luke Wong: Manny is just an overall great guy. He’s one of the funniest guys on the team and always shows up on game day with some style. And when you need him to come up with a big stop in net, he always delivers.

Lucas Skolnick: manny is one of the nicest guys on the team. He always brings a smile to me and topfs face on our road-trips

Zach Schwartz: manny is a 25 year old in an 18 year old body. He is the only person I know who has a fiancé and is this funny. Such a great locker room presence before games too. Always keeps everyone loose and collected.

Tim Cook: Nik is one of the funniest guys on the team and never fails to make everyone laugh.

Alex Oakes: If you need advice on anything, Manny will usually have some wise words

Photo by Jim Parker

Tony Larkin: Manny is your classic vet. He leads by example, and holds himself to a high standard. He walks with such class, you would never know how much of a goofball he really is! I will forever appreciate his efforts in preparing us team dinners, as they were the embodiment of class and a good teammate. Manny will succeed wherever life takes him!

Jack Alecia: Manny - the team dad, gonna remember the team thanksgiving for years. One of the funniest people I’ve ever met

Chris Spano: Great goaltender, even better person. A guy we can all look up to. A mature presence in a young locker room.

Zach Goldenberg: funniest kid on the team. always making everyone laugh whether its an impersonation or some sort of accent.

Marty Castner: One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, everyday he comes to the rink with a smile and is happy to see you

Anthony Solt: A really great friend. Always makes me laugh and is helping me get better. We joke a lot during practice, but I feel like there was always friendly competition between us which helped me get better. A lot of fun memories when I got to stay with him during winter break last year, Always someone I could be honest with, which means a lot.

Sean Caddo: easily one of the nicest and funniest guys on the team, overall great guy who always goes out of his way to help make you better

Connor Chesner: he is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met and our morning workouts will be a memory I won’t forget

Evan Vassilovski: always a great time playing cards with you and Solt on road trips, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and excited to see your new career in impressions take off.

Sam Hutchinson: Nik is a great role model for me and everyone else on the team, he carries himself extremely well and I’ve learned a lot from his work ethic and approach to life. Funniest dude

AJ Finta: a great role model both on and off the ice

Matt Fanning: one of the funniest and most genuine human beings I have ever met. Whenever he was in net I always felt confident that we were gonna be put in a position to win games and he always left me with a smile on my face after every conversation I ever had with him.

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

While he never saw big numbers on the ice, Matthew Zarb has been the soul of the team for a long time. Taking rookies under his wing, and being the team’s #1 supporter at all times, Zarb loves being a part of Syracuse hockey and makes it well-known among his teammates. He is always there for his teammates and friends. Here is what Zarb’s teammates have to say about him.

Max Gargurevich: another guy who is absolutely awesome to hang out with, he’s been a hard worker all year and it was awesome to see him pick up a point a week ago

Brock Alvers: Put his heart and soul into the program for four years. The program is beyond grateful for everything he’s done.

Luke Wong: Zarb is such a supportive teammate. He is always doing what he can to help out the team regardless of his position. And when the opportunity comes, you know he’s gonna send it home with a classic Zarb bomb.

Lucas Skolnick: zarb is always looking out for us younger guys and making sure that we have what we need. He is always a joy to be around on and off the ice.

Zach Schwartz: zarbo is such a genuine person and is always great to be around. Will always have fun running a circuit with him and will definitely miss them.

Tim Cook: Zarb always makes sure everyone is having a good time and if it seems like you’re not then he gets you involved or asks you what’s wrong.

Alex Oakes: Go to guy if you wanna laugh and smile

Photo by Jim Parker

Tony Larkin: From day 1, Zarbo has been nothing but a friend. He welcomed me with open arms when I first arrived to Syracuse. One of my fondest memories I have of Zarb is a walk he, Vinny, and I had to the bar during the first semester of my freshman year. Zarb told me how being a college student worked here at SU and basically told me what I needed to do to succeed. I will never forget that walk to the bar.

Jack Alecia: every time I see Zarb we always break into conversation about something. He introduced me to F1 and I’m glad to call him a friend

Chris Spano: Zarb represents our unity as a program. He may not have gotten the ice time but does so much from behind the scenes that many don’t appreciate.

Zach Goldenberg: One of the best guys on the team. always loves being around the guys and makes every room he's in better

Marty Castner: long time d partner in practice, over the last two years he’s taught me the ways of being a defenseman in the acha

Sean Caddo: always a guy you can rely on when you need something or have a question

Anthony Solt: Always found it cool he was such a big F1 fan and knows so much about cars. Also would lay down the law when Ostrom would get out of hand with too many randoms. Zarb would always come in clutch for me.

Connor Chesner: I love it when I see the Zarb bomb go off. Zarb taught me the ways of Lucy’s

Evan Vassilovski: i will be sad when there are no more Zarb BOMBS next season my fellow toothless friend

Sam Hutchinson: Zarb is an absolute character and a great friend and roommate. He’s an academic weapon and he cares about this team more than anybody.

AJ Finta: king of great one liners

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

5th-year Connor Flanagan is an amazing teammate and friend through and through. He is a loud presence on the ice and in the locker room, always hyping up teammates and getting them in the right mindset before a game. He inspires his teammates to not only play a skilled game, but a gritty tough game and to always leave everything on the ice. Here is what Flanigan’s teammates have to say about him.

Max Gargurevich: another case of just a joy to be around, hilarious guy off the ice, hard worker on the ice, and definitely a guy you want to have in your corner

Brock Alvers: Flanny represents the best of us. Will not meet a harder worker on/off the ice. He represents a role model to all of the younger guys about how to be a person and a teammate.

Luke Wong: I admire Flanny’s persistence both academically and on the ice. He’s always giving it his all doing what he does best. He kept guys awake in practice the way he threw his body around and come game time, he took it right to the other team without hesitation.

Lucas Skolnick: Flanny taught us how to be gritty and hard to play against. He was a guy who lifted us out of a slump 2 years in a row with his energy and joy on and off the ice.

Zach Schwartz: flanny is a guy you always need in your corner. No matter what he will always have your back. He is a kind, whole hearted teammate and friend.

Tim Cook: Flanny never failed to get us going during games and had all of our backs whenever we needed him.

Alex Oakes: Flanny Can seem crazy but is actually someone who I would trust my life with

Photo by Arnav Pokhrel (@prod_adp)

Tony Larkin: Flanny is the biggest beauty around. His work ethic and grind to where he is today is completely respectable and inspiring. Nobody loves being with the fellas more than Flanny. I could not respect flanny more for the work he has put in to get to where he is as a person and in life. He deserves all the good things and more that are coming his way. Every team needs a Flanny!

Jack Alecia: when I first met flanny I’m not going to lie I was afraid of him but know that I’ve gotten to know flanny he is a great teammate and even better person

Chris Spano: Flanny’s a big brother to us. A hardworking kid who’s been through it all. He’s showed us what it takes to be true athletes.

Zach Goldenberg: he drove our team to work hard every day. always brought energy when we needed it

Marty Castner: Best bartender in the world

Sean Caddo: Coming in, I was scared of him but when you get to know him he’s one of the best guys you’ll meet. Definitely a guy you want in your corner.

Anthony Solt: Taught me the importance of standing your ground and having faith in yourself. I remember when he quit working at Harry’s and how he said “I’m not gonna let my boss push me around or take advantage of me.” In addition, one of his speeches in the locker room went along the lines of “if youre gonna go out there and hit a kid, give it your all and run him, because if you arent going to, I know damn well im sending him to Crouse.”

Evan Vassilovski: better #8 than Ovechkin and best bartender of all time.

Connor Chesner: at first when you meet him he can come off as intimidating, but once you get to know him and become close he will always have your back.

Sam Hutchinson: Flan is the best teammate and hardest worker we could ask for and always set the example. He is a great roommate and friend,and he always wants the best for everyone and is a very kind person

AJ Finta: I’ve never met someone that’s so scary until you get to know them. Such a fun loving guy

Matt Fanning: Flanny is a great lead by example leader and although my time with him on the ice was short he always gave his all and was like the big brother to the entire hockey team. He seems intimidating at first but once you get to know him he is the nicest guy you have ever met.

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