Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - There’s a huge test this weekend for the Colgate men's hockey team, which will play host to the 10th ranked team in the country. But the showdown with Saint Cloud State pales in comparison to what one of the team’s co-captains has been facing the past 10 months.
In the middle of last season, Spiro Goulakos, a now junior defenseman on the Colgate hockey team, found out he had Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
"Finding out that news obviously was not what you want to hear," said Goulakos.
"We had to break that news to the team and that was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do as a head coach," said Goulakos’ coach Don Vaughan.
Goulakos played through his first couple chemo treatments, even netting a goal. But the treatments caught up to him and he spent the next several months focusing on beating the cancer.
"For my last chemo day, July 4, that's when I was like that's passed you now, let's push forward," Goulakos said.
It wasn’t certain through the spring and summer if Goulakos would be able to suit up for the Red Raiders, but then news came after a doctor’s visit in August.
"We got the news I was in remission," said Goulakos.
"I got the call from the office and the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I heard him say the doctor just told me ‘I'm in complete remission and I'm full to go,’ that was really emotional," Coach Vaughan said.
Goulakos is thrilled to be back on the ice, although he says his leg stamina and overall endurance still isn’t back to where he wants them to be.
The Red Raiders are looking to change up training and practices to make sure Goulakos as strong as possible for game nights.
And although he says he hopes he can be an inspiration to people, he would rather be remembered for winning a championship than beating cancer
“The greatest recognition for me would be to just get a championship picture up on those walls and be remembered for helping bring that to Colgate,” Goulakos said.