Thomas Gazich during warmups. Photo courtesy voodooshockey.com
Thomas Gazich had some choices but the Voodoos speedy forward had committed to play for the new Dubuque State NCAA Division 3 Spartans program in 2023-24, the Voodoos announced on Tuesday.
The 20-year old Minnetonka, Minnesota product netted 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points in his 32 games with the Voodoos in 2022-23.
“It was proximity to home, only five hours from home,” said Gazich about his choice.
“Having my parents be able to come to my games is important for me and at the end of the day it is a new program and there is a lot of opportunity to go and make an impact right away.”
The 6’0” 175 pound forward shined in the playoffs for the Voodoos adding 4 goals and 2 assists in nine games.
The crafty forward joined the Voodoos in the fall as a free agent from the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Jr A Hockey League.
Gazich credits coaches Peter Goulet and Josh Hardiman for making this a memorable final year of junior hockey.
“I can’t thank them enough throughout this entire process,” said Gazich.
“Coming over from Manitoba I got more opportunity and I guess I took it and ran with it. They really gave me a confidence boost and felt like I was really wanted and I had fun.”
Peter Goulet, Voodoos head coach and co-owner, was happy with Gazich’s decision.
“Thomas had many options for D-3 hockey and settle in Dubuque a couple days ago,” said Goulet.
“It is great to get in on the ground level of a brand new D-3 hockey program. Thomas has a bright future in front of him both as a hockey player and in life.
“When Thomas came to us back in November he had a lot of choice to play Jr A hockey just like his many options to play D-3 hockey. All of us in Powassan were very grateful and excited when Thomas decided to play for our team the Powassan Voodoos. Thomas fit in right away and was a great teammate and a great player for us.”
Gazich becomes the seventh Voodoos player this off season to commit to an NCAA D 3 school or an OUA university team.