For the second time in four weekends, the Bobcats will step away from their American Collegiate Hockey Association schedule.
Last time, a weekend trip was cancelled at Lindenwood due to a carbon monoxide leak. At least this time the reason is positive.
Ohio will host its sixth-annual Ice Ghosts Exhibition Charity Weekend at Bird Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m. A portion of the ticket sales will go toward cancer research at the American Cancer Society. Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for students with an Ohio ID.
History of the Ice Ghosts game
The charity game started in 2012 when cancer found its way into one of the Bobcats’ most involved families.
Becky Fuhs, mother of Ohio alumni Jim and Jared, was diagnosed during the 2011-12 season when Jared was a senior.
Ohio’s head coach at the time, Dan Morris, came up with the idea of an exhibition game between the current team and alumni toward the end of the season to raise money for cancer research.
In that first year, Becky dropped the ceremonial faceoff between her two sons. She died June 24, 2012, which motivated Ohio to continue the event for years afterward.
Now heading into its sixth year, the Ice Ghosts game has raised more than $30,000 for cancer research, according to ohiobobcatshockey.com. The team’s website has a link to this year’s online fundraising campaign, which currently has more than $3,000.
This year’s Bobcats will face a 19-man group of alumni, featuring recent grads, such as current assistant coach Nathan De La Torre (2015), Diego Breckenridge (2016), Mike Kretz (2015) and Tom Whetsel (2015).
“Ohio hockey has done so much for each of us,” Jim Fuhs said in a release through Ohio Bobcats Hockey. “It is the duty of players past and present to give back. This is a great way to bring people in the Ohio hockey family together for a terrific cause.”
Five members of the current Ohio team will miss Friday’s Ice Ghosts game because they’ll be with Team USA at the World University Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Ohio coach Sean Hogan, who will serve as the head coach for the U.S. team, will be gone, as well as four players: forwards Matt Hartman, Joey Breslin and Matt Rudin and defenseman Mike LaFrenier.
Breslin leads the Bobcats with 30 points in 26 games this season, while he and Rudin are tied for second with 12 goals each. Hartman has a respectable 20 points in 24 games and is tied for third on the team with four power play goals. LaFrenier is third in assists for a defenseman.
Both Breslin and Hogan are returnees to the World University Games. Hogan was an assistant coach at both the 2013 Games in Trentino, Italy, and 2013 Games in Granada, Spain, while Breslin played in 2015.
By Wednesday afternoon, Hogan and the players had left for Chicago, from which they’ll fly overseas. They will return to Chicago on Feb. 9, just ahead of Ohio’s road series at Illinois.