Inside Vanderbilt Hockey: A Look at the Rooks

As we head into the second half of the season, it’s time to introduce the ten new players to the lineup. With hometowns ranging from Buffalo, New York all the way to Los Angeles, California, the rooks have helped power the team to its 5-4-1 record. Here’s a look at Vanderbilt Hockey’s newest members.


Mark Mathews

Height: 5’8″

Weight: 160 lbs

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Position: Defense

Major: Economics

Previous Team: Canisius High School, Clarence Mustangs

“My greatest hockey memory was winning the NY State championship sophomore year in high school. I plan on studying economics. I love to travel and will hopefully pick up a minor in a foreign language.”


Justin Cruz

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 155 lbs

Hometown: Palatine, IL

Position: Forward

Major: Pre-medicine

High School: Saint Viator High School

“I’ve been skating since I was 5 and I love to build a rink in my backyard every year for Christmas and play pond hockey. I’m a huge fan of the Blackhawks/I’m a Blackhawks Scholar, which is pretty cool. BME pre-med until I die, which should be sometime in the next three weeks”


Zac Polukoff

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 195

Hometown: Park City, UT

Position: Forward

Major: Philosophy

High School: Milton Academy

“Growing up in Park City, I spent a lot of time skiing and skateboarding. If I am not out playing hockey, you can find me watching movies and hanging out with the boys.  I enjoy the outdoors and fresh air.”


Minkyu Yang

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 175 lbs

Hometown: Livingston, NJ

Position: Defense

Major: Computer science, Economics

Previous Team: Livingston High School

“My favorite hockey memory is winning the OHF Championship in my bantam year. I plan on double majoring in Computer Science and Economics. I love to eat and will hopefully pick up a minor in Engineering Management.”


Ohad Beck

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 170 lbs

Hometown: Cupertino, CA

Position: Forward

Major: Computer Engineering

Previous Team: Boston Jr. Bruins

“Road trips are my favorite part of hockey and some of my best memories have came from being on the road. I love to travel as well outside of hockey and want to travel to Asia soon. I hope to perfect the happy Gilmore drive and practice it weekly so one day I can finally show it off on the range.”


Nate Elner

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 195 lbs

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Position: Defense

Major: Law Student

Previous Team: Maksymum AAA.

“played college lacrosse, selected to the Michigan High School Hockey Excellence Camp 2x, and uhh… A hobby.. singing every country song I hear out of tune.”


Josh Lipsey

Height: 5’8″

Weight: 150 lbs

Hometown: Livingston, NJ

Position: Forward

Major: Cinema and Media Arts

Previous Team: Livingston High School

“One of my favorite hobbies is writing. I hope to pursue a career in screenwriting, and I also wish to study psychology. I am ambidextrous and I want to go to Alaska one day.”


Jack Smith

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 160 lbs

Hometown: Mendham, NJ

Position: Defensemen

Major: undecided

Previous team: Pingry High School, Hunterdon Bears

“Umm… I play soccer as well. Make that my fun fact”


Joe Curnow

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 175 lbs

Hometown: Whitesboro, NY

Position: Defense/Forward

Major: MBA

“I graduated college before the iPhone was released”


Kevin Kastholm

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 190 lbs

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL

Position: Right Wing

Major: Chemical Engineering

Previous Team: Phillips Andover

“I love fishing, country music, and spending time with family”

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