Towering defenceman Sebastian Dirven, from Bainsville, is a rookie member of the hockey team at Cornell University.
He was recently showcased by the Big Red in their ‘Freshman Friday’ website feature.
Dirven is among three freshmen getting top-six minutes on defence.
Given the team’s reputation for defence first, Dirven was asked about his expectations and role coming into the season:
For sure, I think that’s [defence] something that in the last couple of years in junior hockey, I really tried to focus on and get better at. Just because I’ve always been told that good defence leads to good offence, and obviously if you’re good defensively, you’ll be given a lot of opportunity because you’ll be trusted.
Bainsville’s Sebastian Dirven is a freshman student-athlete at Cornell University where he is studying in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and playing hockey as a defenceman for the Big Red.
The 6ft. 3 in., 196 lb. blueline has suited up for all six of the team’s game, as Cornell has built a 6-0 record. Dirven has yet to register a point, though he has recorded 6 shots on goal and been credited with 3 blocked shots. He’s also taken three minor penalties.
The Glengarrian played his minor hockey in the Seaway Valley Rapids program, before devoting the 2014-15 season to the Ontario Hockey Academy, in Cornwall.
The next two seasons, he played for the CCHL Cornwall Colts, whilst a student at Char-Lan DHS, in Williamstown.
Most recently, Dirven skated with the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the USHL, playing 117 games from 2017 through 2019 and scoring 34 points to go along with 122 penalty minutes.
Cornell’s Big Red hockey team has two games on tap this weekend in Ithaca, N.Y., scheduled to play Quinnipiac University tonight, November 22, and Princeton on Saturday.
Two county residents are skating for an American collegiate hockey this season, as Brandon Barillaro and Simon Besner have joined forces with the Plymouth State University Panthers, in New Hampshire.
Barillaro is a 5 ft. 9 in., 180 lb. forward who hails from Alexandria. Through four games, he’s he’s notched one assist in his first year with the Division III team.
A defenceman, Besner checks in at 6 ft. 1 in., 195 lb. He’s from North Lancaster and in his second season with the Panthers has chalked up a goal and an assist in three games thus far. His marker came last night, November 21, as the icing on the cake in a 5-3 victory over Worcester State.
Plymouth has a 3-2 record and is next scheduled to see action on the road Saturday versus UMass Dartmouth.
Alexandria’s Brandon Barillaro, 23, has signed to play university hockey with the Plymouth State Panthers this season, after two years skating for the University of Wisconsin – Superior Yellow Jackets.
The 5 ft. 10 in., 185 lb. forward played his junior hockey primarily with the CCHL Hawkesbury Hawks, though he spent the better part of the 2013-14 season with the CCHL2 Alexandria Glens. He attended Holy Trinity for high school.
He skated in 34 NCAA Division III games with the Yellow Jackets and now joins another Glengarrian, North Lancaster’s Simon Besner, at Plymouth State.
Besner, 22, is in his second season with the Panthers. As a freshman, the 6 ft. 1 in., 205 lb. blueliner recorded 4 points in 18 games.
Fresh off an August European tour with his SUNY Oswego hockey teammates, Williamstown’s Tanner Spink is back at school this fall, ready for another university hockey season.
Of the travels overseas, he tells me, “It was an amazing experience. Although it was cool to play pro teams in Switzerland and Italy, I thought the trip was more of a bonding tool for our team. It was unreal to explore all of Italy, but I feel that after the 11-day trip I’m closer with my teammates than I ever was, and that is a great feeling going into our season.”
The 23-year-old centreman is entering his third year with the Lakers. In 49 career games with the NCAA division III squad, he’s chalked up 28 points on 66 shots.
Spink played his junior ‘A’ hockey with the CCHL Cornwall Colts. He graduated from Char-Lan District High School, is the son of Kenton and Kathy, and his older twin brothers play professional hockey in Finland.
The puck is slated to drop on the 2019-20 season on October 19.