Men’s Hockey Freshman Feature: Morgan Barron
Cornell’s mens hockey team is back on the ice after a very successful 2016-17 campaign that resulted in a trip to the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Tournament. However, after falling just short last season and saying goodbye to graduating stars in Jake Weidner, Matt Buckles and Patrick McCarron, the team entered the 2017-18 season with plenty of new faces, including 10 freshmen. The Big Red hockey team seems to be faring just fine so far; just three weeks into the season and the team is off to a terrific 6-0 start, including 4 ECAC wins over Princeton, Quinnipiac, Harvard and Dartmouth. One particular face already making his mark for the Big Red is freshman forward Morgan Barron, who has contributed two points and four assists in all six games he’s played in.
Barron hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and most recently attended St. Andrew’s College in Ontario where he helped head the team to two consecutive CISAA provincial championships as captain. Just like all other Canadians, Barron was introduced to ice hockey at a very young age and ultimately stuck with hockey because his father always played. “I wanted to follow in his path,” Barron said. Quickly rising through the ranks of junior hockey in Canada, Barron was drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft; however, he state that going to college in the states to play hockey was always on his radar. Interestingly enough, Barron tries to model his game after current New York Rangers wing Chris Kreider, a Boston College alumnus who is also known for his success as a rookie, as he made his NHL debut in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. Barron was first spotted by Cornell in November of his junior year and fielded interests from Harvard University and Providence College as well. He ultimately decided on Cornell after visiting the school and Lynah Rink, stating he had a passion for the coaching, the atmosphere and obviously the tradition behind Big Red hockey.
The unique design of hockey requires that nearly every player on the roster receives playing time each game, so Barron knew that he would have an impact as soon as he arrived. He actually thinks that having an instant impact makes the transition to college hockey a bit easier. “Everyone practices every day and the older guys have done a really good job of getting us involved, especially because we have 1o freshmen,” Barron said. He scored his first goal in his first-ever collegiate game, a 5-1 victory over Alabama-Huntsville on October 27th. “It’s nice to get it over with and I’m really happy it was here at Lynah,” he remarked about his first goal. The Lynah atmosphere has even been more than he expected as a player, as he said some of the biggest junior teams in Canada would be shocked to see the size of Cornell’s student section. “It’s one of the best ones, if not the best.” Nothing is more thrilling to Barron than being able to skate out and start hockey games for the Big Red, but his favorite Lynah tradition is when the crowd yells “red!” during the national anthem.
Barron has a very modest goal for the rest of the year, as he wants to help the team, stay in the lineup and win the ECACs. He felt welcomed from the second he hit the ice for captain’s practices and attributes a lot of his early success to the guidance and leadership of the upperclassmen, but especially the four captains: Trevor Yates, Mitch Vanderlaan, Jared Fiegl and Alex Rauter. “I’ve gotten to know all the guys through social media,” he said. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and relaxing, but admits he still needs to work on his golf swing.
Keep an eye out for Morgan Barron, #27, on the ice this year, as his offensive talent will be a key component to the Big Red fulfilling its goal of winning ECACs and ultimately a national championship.