Blake Weyrick with Canisius College (photo courtesy of Canisius College Athletic Department)
Late in December, Canisius College’s hockey team found itself battling with Cornell University during an in-state matchup. It was during this game that goaltender Blake Weyrick found his place on the ice representing the Golden Griffins, earning his first collegiate appearance in his career.
For Weyrick — the first and only player on the Golden Griffins’ roster from California during its time as a Division I program — playing in that match-up specifically, against Cornell, meant facing Alex McCray, another Californian Weyrick had met along his way to a college career, and Jared Fiegl, a teammate while with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. For him, that made the game a little more memorable.
“It was awesome,” Weyrick said. “I got to play against Jared Fiegl who was on my team at the NTDP and Alex McCray who’s a California guy on their team. It was really fun getting to see those guys and to be on the ice with them again.”
Weyrick is a part of the Canisius squad that has earned a 14-8-0 conference record and currently leads the Atlantic Hockey Conference after a win against Holy Cross this past weekend.
The California native started playing hockey when he was young and transferred to Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota when he was 13. While there for two years, he had a .920 save percentage in 58 career games, which earned him a place with the NTDP the next two years. For him, the transition was accompanied by teammates who he played with at Shattuck, like defenseman Clint Lewis.
Weyrick served as a goaltender for the NTDP for two years, spanning the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. His time with the U17s and U18s featured a career .883 save percentage in 44 games with a 3.01 goals against average. He was a part of the team that won gold in 2014 at the IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship and silver in 2013 at the IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship.
“I was kind of along for the ride, but getting to be there in Finland and getting to watch how it unfolded and see how two years of hard work for the team really pays off was special," Weyrick said. “I think seeing guys achieve what was, from day one, the only thing you really work for is awesome.”
From the NTDP, Weyrick played briefly with the Waterloo Blackhawks, Fargo Force and Tri-City Storm and spent two seasons with the North American Hockey League’s Janesville Jets. His first season, he played in 13 games with a .907 save percentage, and increased both of those numbers his second year to 24 and .912, respectively.
From there, Weyrick committed to Canisius. Though he didn’t know any players or alumni who had played with the Golden Griffins, he adjusted quickly with some help from his teammates.
“I just thought it’d be an academic, hockey, and personal fit for me, I thought it’d be best,” Weyrick said. “It worked out really well. It’s been awesome, it’s a really good group of guys and I really enjoy the academic side of things, and Buffalo is a great city —I even hopped on the Bills bandwagon — and I really enjoy it here, it’s a great place to be.”
This upcoming weekend, Canisius will continue conference play against Army West Point with a weekend series at home before wrapping up the regular season with matchups against Air Force and Niagara.
Blake Weyrick with Team USA in 2012-13 (Photo by USA Hockey)
It’s been awesome, it’s a really good group of guys and I really enjoy the academic side of things ... and I really enjoy it here, it’s a great place to be.