Philadelphia, PA – It’s been over six months since Temple University Ice Hockey Club co-captain Ryan Trefz left us, but his impact on the Philadelphia hockey community has become larger than life. Because of that, it’s no surprise that 34 of his friends participated in the Ryan Trefz Memorial Ice Hockey Game.
On Dec. 28, players from the Temple Owls, the Hatfield Ice Dogs and Central Bucks West participated in the game at Hatfield Ice, raising $6,000 for the Ryan Trefz Memorial Scholarship Fund in the process.
Temple athletes Charles Ghiazza, Nick Van Allen, Jack Pearce, Alex Barberini, Kyle Smedley, Andrew Kaeser, Brendan Ondick and Ben Auerbach joined former teammates of Trefz. Assistant coach Frank Blust played, and four officials – including former Owls player and current AHL referee Patrick Hanrahan – joined the crew on the ice.
Ryan Trefz’s brother, Chris, participated as well. He’s a standout senior for Central Bucks West, scoring 29 points in eight games midway through the 2019-20 ICSHL season. He also plays for Genesis 18U, an AA club team.
“It was really fun playing with Chris,” Ghiazza, who was on the opposing team, said. “Sometimes he gets frustrated because we don’t take it easy on him, but it’s cool to have opportunities to play with people you normally wouldn’t be able to.”
“The best moment of the game was when Chris missed a wide open net,” Smedley, Trefz’s defensive partner in the 2018-19 season, said. “It was hilarious.”
During pre-game festivities, Rich Trefz, the patriarch of the family, announced the lineups for both teams and explained when and where each player played with Ryan Trefz. The crowd and players showered the rink with applause and stick-taps.
Spine-tingling encapsulates the feeling of those on the ice and in attendance.
Barberini, Smedley, Kaeser, Ondick and Auerbach’s team won, 7-5, but as the cliché goes, the score didn’t matter. Don’t tell that to Ghiazza, though.
“In the actual game, Trefz probably would’ve chirped me for a few missed chances,” Ghiazza said. “But overall I know he was watching over us the whole day with a huge smile on his face.”
Van Allen, who played in his second season as Trefz started his freshman year, couldn’t imagine a better way to support his long-time teammate.
“It was an honor to be able to play in a game dedicated to a great teammate and an even better friend,” he said. “The turn out and support from friends, family, and the hockey community was unbelievable.”
“He would have been proud at how fast the game was and how many people were in attendance,” Smedley said.
The Ryan Trefz Memorial Scholarship Fund was created by the Fox School of Business’ Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, which Ryan Trefz was a part of. According to Ghiazza, it was Gamma Iota Sigma that brought up the idea of a memorial game in October.
It would’ve been suiting had Ghiazza responded in the words Trefz so often said: “I think we can work on it.”
Everything that has happened since that fateful day in June has solidified the fact that hockey is so much more than just a game. It’s a family. It’s a community.
Ryan Trefz’s family was at the rink on Dec. 28.
If you would like to donate to the Ryan Trefz Memorial Scholarship Fund, click here.
About the Temple University Ice Hockey Club
The Temple University Ice Hockey Club was founded in 1940 and has played in the top division of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), the top league for club hockey in the United States, since 2015. Temple plays in the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association (ECHA) alongside geographical rivals in Villanova and Drexel. The Temple Owls play at The Igloo at Mt. Laurel at 3033 Fostertown Road, Mt. Laurel, NJ. They have made the playoffs in four-straight ECHA seasons.
Originally published at TempleIceHockey.com