Ohio Bobcats goalie Fedor Dushkin (33) makes a save in Friday night’s shootout against the American Cancer Society Ice Ghosts, a team composed of Ohio Bobcats Hockey alumni.

Photographer: Alex Boyle


The two teams, one of current players (white jerseys) and the other of Ohio Bobcats Hockey alumni (purple jerseys), shake hands at the conclusion of the weekend’s games. Together the teams raised over $8,500 for the American Cancer Society.

Photographer: Alex Boyle

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Hockey alumni and current players team up against cancer

Inspired by teammate's mother's diagnosis, athletes raise more than $8,500 for cancer research

Ohio Bobcats Hockey alumni took the ice at Bird Arena once again last weekend—this time for some friendly competition and a good cause.

The alumni combined to form the American Cancer Society Ice Ghosts team that played against the current Ohio Bobcats Hockey team in the second annual Hockey Alumni Weekend on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb 23. Together, the teams raised over $8,500 for cancer research.

The first event was held in 2012 after Becky Fuhs, the mother of hockey alumni Jim (’09) and Jared (’12) Fuhs, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Last year, the team raised about $700. Becky Fuhs lost her battle with cancer on June 24, 2012, shortly after attending Jared’s graduation; that inspired the team to raise more money and awareness in the event’s second year.

Jonathan Gulch, a current OHIO Bobcats Hockey player who was a teammate of Jared Fuhs, says it is such an honor to play in the fund-raising games.

“[Becky Fuhs] was a wonderful person and she always lit up the room,” Gulch said. “She did a lot for this university and this hockey team, so to play in these games for her is unbelievable.”

The alumni invited current players, fans and family to donate to the cause on a special website through the American Cancer Society. The first goal was set at $1,000; that amount was surpassed within 48 hours of the website’s launch.

In addition to the website, OHIO Bobcats Hockey raised money by donating a portion of the ticket sales from the weekend games and selling cancer awareness items at the games. The team worked closely with several other campus organizations, including the OHIO Relay for Life team, the Ohio University Alumni Association, the Campus Recreation Marketing Department and the Campus Involvement Center to raise awareness and money.

Coming back to Athens to play the game they love was another reason the alumni had such a great turnout for the event.

“It’s a great feeling [to be back],” said Jared Fuhs. “You play that one last time at Bird Arena and you think you’ll never come back. But getting to play with all these guys for this cause and meeting the young players, seeing what they’ve accomplished this year, is a great feeling.”

Current OHIO Bobcats Hockey head coach Dan Morris, an OHIO Bobcats Hockey alum himself, participated in the event.

“It’s a great cause and we feel that the event brings our current team and alumni closer together,” said Morris. “Our alumni love playing in this game. They are competitive guys and they show up and play hard in these games, which is great for our current team to see.”

The alumni—who include members of several national championship teams—also gave advice and shared past experiences with the current team. The Bobcats are headed to Chicago to compete in the ACHA National Championship playoffs March 1-6.

Hockey alumni keep close ties to the university, checking in on the current team’s progress as well as what goes on at OHIO’s campus. “I try to come back as much as possible,” said Jared Fuhs.

With the final scores resulting in a 6-5 Bobcats shootout victory on Friday and a 6-4 win again on Saturday, the teams paid less attention to the score sheet and more attention to the amount of money they raised for the American Cancer Society. Players from both teams enjoyed the weekend of friendly competition and team bonding.

Gulch, a junior, is looking forward to playing on the other side of the ice after he graduates in 2014.

“It’s just a great time and it would be nice to see the new and upcoming kids trying to go for the older players on the alumni team,” he said.

Donations are still being accepted through the team’s fundraising website.

The Ohio University Relay for Life, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, March 22 outside the Ping Recreation Center. For more information and to donate, click here.