Back on the ice: Colgate captain Goulakos’ cancer in remission

Colgate junior captain Spiro Goulakos, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in the middle of the 2012-13 season, is now in remission and will be returning to campus – and the ice – this fall.

Goulakos left the Raiders in late January to begin cancer treatments in his native Montreal, but came back toward the end of the season after treatments were showing improvements. He returned at Dartmouth on Feb. 16 and scored the game-winning goal against Union in a 4-1 win on Feb. 22.

“I want to say thanks for all the support from first and foremost, my teammates and coaches, as well as the entire Colgate community,” Goulakos said in a statement. “I am looking forward to getting back on the ice at 100 percent and the challenge of helping our team win a championship.”

The cancer diagnosis initially came during the school’s holiday break in December 2012 when Goulakos underwent a routine physical examination. As part of that exam, one of the lab tests performed by the doctor returned abnormal results.

Additional tests revealed that Goulakos had a large area of swelling in his chest that was not affecting his breathing or his stamina. Doctors started him on chemotherapy shortly after the diagnosis.

Dr. Merrill Miller, Colgate’s team physician who worked with Goulakos’ doctors in Montreal, said he will have testing done periodically.

“He feels well and has no restrictions,” Miller said in a statement. “He will have lab and radiology testing every few months for the next 1-2 years for the very low chance that the disease could return. He has had excellent health care from his specialists in Canada and wonderful family and team support.

“From his diagnosis in late December until now, Spiro has been a champion in following all recommendations and treatments. He will continue being a champion in the classroom and on the ice. We’re delighted he will return to Colgate later this month.”

Colgate coach Don Vaughan couldn’t be happier to have Goulakos, voted team captain back in April, back with the team.

“All of us involved with Colgate hockey are very happy for Spiro and his family,” Vaughan added. “He has handled this illness with incredible courage and grace. We are excited to have him back in good health and leading our team as captain.”