On Jan. 29, Colgate announced that sophomore defenseman Spiro Goulakos had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It was expected that his season would be over because he was expected to undergo aggressive chemotherapy over the next four to six months in his hometown of Montreal. And that meant his season was probably over.
But Goulakos wasn’t ready to have his season end prematurely. He made a surprise return to the Raiders’ lineup last Saturday at Dartmouth.
“After I did the first treatment, I felt pretty good, for the most part,” Goulakos said in a telephone interview this week. “There was a little nausea the first couple of days. As far as my energy and strength and that kind of stuff, I felt pretty normal. My doctors told me before I started my treatment that there would be days that you feel good, and days that you won’t.”
Before beginning his first treatment, Goulakos had two assists to help Colgate beat Yale, 4-1, on
Jan. 26. Ten days after his first chemo sessions, Goulakos felt good. He contemplated returning the weekend of Feb. 8-9, when Colgate hosted Princeton and Quinnipiac.
“In my head, I was like, ‘I could play. I know my body,’ ” Goulakos said. “I wanted to give it a shot. I skated in the morning at school. I felt good, and my strength was there.”
There was one slight problem, though.
“I didn’t have confirmation from the doctors that it would be OK to play,” Goulakos said.
When Goulakos went for his second chemo session, he spoke with the doctors.
“I said, ‘Listen, as far as my strength and how my body feels, I’m more than fine,’ ” Goulakos said. “ ‘Do you think there’s a possibility I could play in a game?’ ”
The doctors told Goulakos that as long as he feels good and listens to his body, then it was fine with them to play.
“That made the decision easy,” Goulakos said.
Unfortunately, Goulakos’ return didn’t go well. He had a minus-3 defensive rating in the Raiders’ 5-4 loss to the Big Green.
“That was very disappointing,” said Goulakos, who has six goals and nine assists in 22 games this season. “It was very bittersweet, my performance.”
Goulakos is planning to be in the lineup this weekend when Colgate hosts Union tonight and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday.
“It’s pretty much a day-by-day thing,” Goulakos said. “If I’m feeling good and the coaches are comfortable with me being in the lineup, I’ll prepare myself like any other game.”
RPI TENTATIVE Schedule
RPI’s tentative 2013-14 schedule has three road games to start the season, two home games with Denver, a visit to the Mariucci Classic and a December date with Union at the Times Union Center.
After playing an exhibition game Oct. 5 at Houston Field House, the Engineers will open the season Oct. 12 against Sacred Heart at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. The next day, the Engineers will travel to Boston College. RPI returns to Boston Oct. 18 to face Boston University.
The Engineers’ home opener is Oct. 19 against Sacred Heart. A week later, New Hampshire will visit RPI.
RPI will visit Mercyhurst for a two-game series Nov. 22-23.
RPI coach Seth Appert will face his former boss, George Gwozdecky, when Denver comes to Houston Field House for a two-game series Dec. 13-14. Appert was an assistant coach at Denver for nine years.
After playing Denver, RPI is scheduled to host the U.S. Under-18 team Dec. 15.
The ECACH games against Capital Region rival Union will be Nov. 15 at Messa Rink and Nov. 16 at the field house. The second annual Mayor’s Cup game is tentatively set for Dec. 20 at the TU Center.
RPI will go to Minnesota for the Mariucci Classic Jan. 3-4.
RPI will open ECACH play Nov. 1 at Harvard.
HUMANITARIAN FINAL five
The finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award were trimmed to five on Tuesday.
The five players vying for the award are Western Michigan senior forward Brett Beebe, Saint Anselm College senior forward J. Tucker Mullin, Alaska senior defenseman Kaare Odegard, Holy Cross Junior defenseman Jeffrey Reppucci and Yale senior forward Alyssa Zupon.
The winner will be named April 12 on the off day of the NCAA Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.
The Union women’s 10th NCAA Division I season will come to an end this weekend at Messa Rink. The Dutchwomen host Colgate tonight at 7, and Cornell at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Union is on the verge of its sixth winless ECAC Hockey campaign, and the third under coach Claudia Barcomb. It is 0-16-4, and is guaranteed to finish in last place. The Dutchwomen trail 11th-place Yale by five points.
Barring a offensive explosion, the Dutchwomen will finish without a double-digit goal scorer for the sixth straight season. The last time Union had a player score 10 or more goals in a season was in 2006-07, when Elise Nichols scored 12 and Suzy Pocock had 10.
Meanwhile, RPI returns to the ECACH tournament after a one-year absence. They are locked into seventh place, and will face the second seed in next weekend’s best-of-three quarterfinals. It will either be Clarkson, Cornell or Harvard.
The regular season ends Tuesday, when Harvard hosts Yale in a game that was postponed two weeks ago because of Winter Storm Nemo.
FINALLY, A WIN
The Sacred Heart men’s team finally won its first game of the season on Tuesday when it beat Atlantic Hockey foe Holy Cross, 7-3.
The victory ended the Pioneers’ 28-game winless streak (0-26-2) to start the season. Ben Ketchum had two goals and an assist, and Chad Filteau added two goals.