Fenwick hockey wins game one of the Hruby Cup


by Lauren Recchia                      December 5, 2023              Updated December 6, 2023

The Paul Hruby Cup series between Fenwick and OPRF’s hockey teams is always an exciting time, and this year’s opener proved no different.

The Friars (13-19-3) came out on top in game one, 5-2, Saturday at Allstate Arena. OPRF opened the scoring early with a goal by defenseman Griffin Wesley on a hard wrist shot that rang in off the far post. The Friars answered with three goals in a penalty-filled second period as forward Demitri Karabatsos, defenseman John Moore, and forward Johnny Sena each scored. Forward Dominic Fosco added to the Friars’ lead with 12:58 to play in the third period on a shot on the rush, assisted by forward Will Pabst, and OPRF forward Joseph Leshnock answered later in the period with a power play goal to close the gap. The Friars capped off their scoring with an empty net goal from Fosco after winning a battle down low.

“I was happy with the way we responded to a slow start,” said Friars head coach Nick Fabbrini. “Getting down 1-0 in an emotional game like that can be difficult to come back from, but we did a good job of staying calm and getting back in the game.”

Moore finished the afternoon with a goal and two assists, while Fosco tallied two goals and Verni had two assists. Fabbrini was especially happy to win a Hruby Cup game, which honors the former coach of both teams, Paul Hruby.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the Oak Park community to see hockey players who are dedicated to the game and love representing their school and local communities,” he said. “[Hruby was] a huge pillar of the hockey community in Oak Park.”

 For the Huskies, Wesley’s goal was his 10th on the season in 11 games played.

“I was really happy with the level of competition I got out of my guys,” said second-year head coach Mike Murphy. “They were able to keep up with the pace of the game and the skill of the game.”

Despite losing 17 seniors from last season, the Huskies (7-22) have shown great improvement throughout their second year in the Illinois West Division, following a few seasons in the Scholastic League. Murphy is proud of the new culture they have created at OPRF and believes they’ll continue to build off of it as the season progresses.

“The locker room has been fantastic,” he said. “The kids are bought in, they believe in the culture, they believe in the club, and they respect the jersey. We’re getting people to buy into the club and participate in the right way.”

The Hruby Cup also benefits the charity Beyond Hunger, and both teams have been putting in community work off the ice throughout the season. OPRF hosted a toy drive Sunday during their game against Benet, while Fenwick will be hosting a breast cancer benefit game in January.

Both teams followed Sunday’s match with a game Sunday evening, OPRF tied with Benet 3-3 as defenseman Jack Panichelli scored the game tying goal for the Huskies with one second left. Fenwick defeated Glenbard North 3-1.

Images available: https://www.andrewcarlinphoto.com/p826313104