Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spirit granting wish to local player

Eric Tien’s dream is to someday be part of the Saginaw Spirit.

This Friday night at the Dow Event Center, his dream will come true.

He will have his own locker stall, with a nameplate above it, and will get dressed in full Saginaw Spirit gear to skate to center ice as the Saginaw Spirit’s honorary captain when the Spirit entertain the Niagara IceDogs at 7:11 p.m.

Tien is a 16-year-old forward that plays for the Tri City Ice Hawks of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League and is battling rhabdomyosarcoma, which is an extremely rare form of cancer found mainly in children. It is found in the skeletal and muscular structures of the body and affects 250-300 kids per year throughout North America.

On Wednesday, Tien met with Spirit president and managing partner Craig Goslin, general manager and head coach Todd Watson and Spirit captain Tyler Murovich before addressing the entire Spirit team in their locker room.

“His message to our team was that he has been battling through a lot during the past seven weeks and feels honored and appreciative of the players allowing him to be their captain for Friday night’s game against Niagara,” stated Watson. “We are the ones that are being honored by him. For a kid to be battling like he is, Eric has the kind of attitude that it takes to be a champion."

Murovich’s thoughts echoed those of Watson.

“It’s obvious after meeting Eric Tien that he is a good person and a great competitor,” said Murovich. “Our entire team hopes that the Spirit crowd will come to their feet to encourage him to beat this disease when he is introduced before Friday night’s game as our honorary captain."

Before hitting the ice at the Dow Friday night, Tien will join his family and close friends as the special guests of the Detroit Red Wings at their Thursday home game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Red Wings, in partnership with the Saginaw Spirit Charitable Foundation, will put Tien and guests in a suite complete with food and all the fixings. Spirit partner and local charter company Blue Lakes Charters and Tours will be driving Tien and his guests down to the Joe Louis Arena in one of their limo buses. After the game, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and head coach Mike Babcock will greet Tien and escort him through the Red Wings' locker room where he will meet the Red Wings - including one of his favorite hockey players, Todd Bertuzzi.

“He inspired all of us today - what a great, great kid,” said Goslin. “Eric Tien is a champion that has won at competing at things all of his life. Something tells me that he will win the battle that he is currently fighting, too. We have a capacity crowd that is expected for Friday night’s game and the fans are in for a real honor when they get introduced to this fine young man.

"He is an inspiration to us all.”


Anonymous said...

Great story.....give em hell tyler

Anonymous said...

im sorry i meant eric