JCU Club Hockey Rejuvenates Season With Strong Weekend


John Carroll Sports Information

Payton Fogarty gets a shot around Toledo defender during a game this season.

Jack O'Rourke, Staff Reporter

All it takes is one. One weekend changed the path of the John Carroll American Collegiate Hockey Association DI Club Hockey season. Entering this past weekend the Streaks had begun to change the tides of their season, but this one emphatic push was needed to propel this team to the next level. 

On Fri., Oct. 28, the heavily touted Pittsburgh University Panthers entered University Heights—and they were all they were built up to be. 

After an undefeated regular season last year in the College Hockey Mid-America, the Panthers were usurped from their throne by an upstart John Carroll team in the CHMA Championship game. Following an at-large bid to the ACHA National Tournament and a first round win, the Panthers chose to leave the CHMA. 

On Friday night, the Panthers struck first on an odd man rush and a beautiful shot that beat Blue Streak goaltender Martin Moine (graduate student). The Panthers dominated the opening period, but the Blue and Gold were able to keep their deficit at one goal. 

The second period saw much more even play, as both teams had man-advantages, but could not register the games’ second tally. Carroll had a plethora of scoring chances, but could not find the tiebreaker. 

Martin Moine heading to the goal for the Blue Streaks this season.

Moine was brilliant in between the pipes and found aid via strong play from defenseman Tristan Weigand ‘25. Following another curtain call night from Moine, the Blue Streaks still trailed 1-0 with minutes left in the contest. Moine raced to the home bench as the Blue Streaks gained an extra attacker in a last minute push to even the contest. 

With a 6-on-5 advantage, Clay Gazdak ‘24 kept a puck fired by the Panthers in the offensive zone and pushed it to the corner. Gazdak sent a slick pass to an untouched captain Max Wopperer (graduate student). Wopperer got the best piece of the puck he could, sending Gilmour Academy’s ice rink into a state of bedlam as Wopperer’s shot ricocheted off the back of the net signaling a tie game. 

Forty seconds stood on the clock as the captain celebrated with what may go down as his signature goal in a Blue Streak jersey. 

Both teams traded chances in overtime as Moine and the defense in front of him remained flawless. Star forward Max Richter ‘23 was hit in the head signaling a Blue Streak power play as time dwindled in the sudden death period. 

With mere seconds left on the clock, Ryan Young ‘25 hit fellow defenseman Payton Fogarty ‘25 for a one-time attempt. Fogarty unleashed a shot that the Panthers’ goaltender never saw as the puck found home with seven seconds left in overtime. 

Fogarty triumphantly raised two hands in the air and pretended to break his stick over his knee as a sea of white flooded #9. 

The Blue Streaks had upset the Panthers for a second time in two seasons, proving that their win last year was not a fluke. 

Moine stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced en route to the late game heroics of Wopperer and Fogarty. 

As nice as that win was, the Blue and Gold had to rebound on Sun., Oct. 30 and take two important league points from a gritty Mercyhurst Lakers team. 

This game was one for the unsung heroes of the program, the guys that don’t live in these articles and the first goal of the game was the perfect example of this. 

Adam Unruh competing for the Blue and Gold this year.

Adam Unruh ‘24 is the consummate hockey player. He is a defensively responsible, forechecking, pass-first center that every coach reserves a spot for in the locker room. Unruh never seeks credit for his sacrificing style and is one of the more humble human beings. However, early in this game, Unruh shined. 

Unruh, while still not trading out his shot blocking, kept whacking at a loose puck in front of the Laker net and rammed it home before the referee blew his whistle, scoring the ultimate “til the whistle blows” goal courtesy of passing phenom Tyler Lamark ‘24. 

Gazdak followed up his Friday night assist with a beauty to Ethan Miller ‘24. Miller is another strong center with a scoring touch and passing ability that eats minutes for the Blue Streaks. One of the most positive and fun guys on the team, Miller’s goal to double the lead was a huge bench boost. 

The Lakers scored on a wraparound to make the score 2-1 with seven minutes left. 

A minor injury at this point occurred, sending Nate Cava ‘23 into the net to goaltend. Cava was great for the final seven minutes of the game as a pair of Blue Streaks, Weigand and Gazdak tallied markers. Weigand, a defensively strong locker room leader, scored his first conference goal of the season. Gazdak then scored perhaps the best goal of his college career to put the icing on the cake.

John Carroll leaves this weekend 7-6-0 in ACHA play with a 3-1-0 record in conference play which is good enough for second place in the CHMA. The team is off this weekend and returns for an unusual Wednesday night game on November 9 at 9:30 p.m. against Kent State at Gilmour Academy.