Fenwick, OPRF Ready For Next Hruby Cup Game

The Fenwick and OPRF boys hockey teams are set for their next matchup, as they square off for the second time this season.

The Friars (22-25-0) will host the Huskies (8-21-2) on Friday, 8 p.m., at the West Meadows Ice Arena for game two of the Paul Hruby Cup series, named for the Oak Park hockey pioneer and Illinois Hockey Hall-of-Famer. As in the past, the series supports Beyond Hunger, an Oak Park charity with a mission to end hunger in the near-west suburbs. Ticket proceeds will go to the nonprofit and fans can also donate online.

“It’ll be a great atmosphere and an emotionally charged game,” said Fenwick head coach Nick Fabbrini. “Fans have several different opportunities to donate to the organization.”

“I definitely think the charity aspect brings the community together,” said OPRF head coach Mike Murphy. “As a club, we’ve been teaching the guys the importance of giving back; you want to play for your high school because it’s such an important part of your upbringing, and it’s important to play for the community.”

Fenwick and OPRF have partnered with the charity for many years, via an existing relationship established by former Huskies head coach David Dyson. The Hruby Cup challenge has had grade levels from both schools compete against each other to raise funds, and last season $4,500 was donated. In addition to the high level of competition in these games, the charity aspect is also something that brings everyone together as fans can turn out to support their team and also help their community.

“Even though the games will be away from OPRF and Fenwick, we really hope people will come out to watch a great sport and help support a great cause,” Fabbrini said.

“We’ve always been happy with the turnout for this series, it’s always been a fun event with a lot of energy,” Murphy said. “Our students and [media relations manager] Jason Clary have done a great job getting the word out.”

Fenwick notched a 5-2 victory in game one of the series on Dec. 2, and both coaches know that this one will be another close matchup.

“It’ll be Fenwick against Oak Park, so you know it will be an emotional game,” Fabbrini said. “It’ll be exciting; these are always games that we have circled on our schedule.”

“This is the biggest game we have to look forward to on our schedule,” Murphy said. “The guys are really excited for it; hopefully it will be the pinnacle of their seasons.”

“Players from both teams probably took their first steps on the ice together,” said OPRF club president Laura Fransen. “And they were certainly teammates for some club in years past, so these games are filled with friendships, not just between players but entire families as well. Any fan in attendance should expect to see a great game that only that kind of history can provide.”

Fans can purchase tickets to Friday’s game through either Fenwick’s website or OPRF’s hockey website. Game three of the series (if necessary) will be on Sunday at West Meadows Ice Arena.