Cap City’s Piros makes first start since return from cancer
Dressed like a Predator, Jacob Piros spends time with his favorite goaltender, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, during a Make-a-Wish visit with the NHL team.
In his first start since being diagnosed with lymphoma last spring, Capital City senior goalie Jacob Piros stopped 13 of 15 shots in 29 minutes on Friday night in a 5-3 win over Walled Lake Northern at Suburban Ice-East Lansing.
“Honestly, I just wanted to go out there and put up good numbers, and keep improving our record as a team,” Piros said on rwww.mihshockeyhub.com. “We’ve only lost two games, and I wanted to make sure the record wouldn’t change.”
The Capitals are ranked No. 14 in the Division 1 Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Associations rankings.
Piros, who had replaced the starting goalie in three games this season before getting the start on Friday, which was Senior Night, played for DeWitt/St. John’s last season.
But the Mid-Michigan area decided to consolidate the six High School hockey teams into four. So DeWitt, St. Johns, Lansing Catholic and Mason formed a team for this season that became Capital City.
“It was pretty gratifying to see him play, to know what he’s gone through, and to watch him go out there and battle the nervous energy,” Capital City coach Travis Van Tigham said. “But once he got settled in, he was back to his old self.
“He’s a kid that you can’t not like: He has an infectious smile, and he just cares so much about the game and his team. It shows in everything he does.”
During his recovery, Piros got a chance to meet his favorite goaltender, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In January, Piros and his family traveled to Nashville to meet Rinne and his teammates. Piros suited up with the team and led them down the tunnel and onto the ice. Once there, he did several interviews and then went to a suite where he met several Tennessee Titans NFL players.
"The experience was amazing," Piros said.
Before his cancer diagnosis, Piros had planned to attend development camps with the Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League this past spring and summer.
That’s still his objective.
“My goal is to keep playing,” he said. “I started playing a bit later than normal. I started when I was 13. I come from Ionia where hockey isn’t big at all. It’s almost non-existent.
“But I always wanted to play goalie, and play after High School. I’ve developed pretty quickly, and I figured why stop now, you know?
“I’m going to put my heart and soul into making the NAHL, and hope it works out. If it doesn’t, I’ll study mechanical engineering or marketing when I go to college.”
Macomb Dakota snaps Utica Eisenhower’s streak
Senior Zack Pendrick’s power-play goal in the third period broke a tie and gave Div. 1 No. 9 Macomb Dakota a 3-2 win over Div. 1 No.12 Utica Eisenhower Tuesday night at Mount Clemens Ice Arena.
The loss ended Eisenhower’s 11-game winning streak.
The Cougars rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit.
“We’ve been in that position before,” Pendrick told the Macomb Daily. “We knew we could overcome it; we’re that good of a team.”
The win also pulled Dakota into a first-place tie with L’Anse Creuse United in the MAC Red Division.
“It was for the MAC Red,” Pendrick said. “This might be the last time our seniors play Ike (Eisenhower).”
Zach Schultz and Lucas Czopek also scored for Macomb Dakota in the second period after Payton Medovarski registered two goals in the opening period for Utica Eisenhower.