Playing on Detroit Little Caesars Pee Wee AAA, Fort Gratiot’s Jacob Truscott hasn’t played in a game that truly felt like home.
With his teammates Mark Estapa (St. Clair) and Travis and Tiernan Shoudy (Marysville) carpooling to Detroit to practice throughout the week, they’re afar from playing on their Blue Water ice.
This week at the Port Huron International Silver Stick Finals, all of that changed.
Playing on ice closer to home in front of 30 or so family and friends, Truscott and his team went through the weekend undefeated to claim the title.
“It got my adrenaline running,” the defenseman said. “It was a big win and it felt good to win at your home town with everyone watching you.”
Truscott scored two goals over the weekend, but more importantly he played like two skaters on defense. After the championship game he was named to the tournament’s all-star team, and now he is the Times Herald Athlete of the Week.
Truscott’s biggest performance came in the 2-1 overtime win against the North York Rangers. However, that game had a good chance of not being sent to overtime, but instead ending with a Little Caesars loss.
With just over one minute remaining in regulation, the Rangers went on a power play. For the final minute of the third period and the first 30 seconds of overtime Truscott and company took away any good looks at the net, getting the team back to full strength.
Just a few minutes later Dominic James scored the game-winning goal to send Little Caesars to the semifinals.
Up next for Little Caesars are league games and a trip to next weekend’s Buffalo Cup. Once they skate through rest of January, they will head to eastern Canada to play in the Olympics of pee wee hockey — the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament.
The tournament welcomes in teams from America, Canada and Europe. Whenever Little Caesars has down time, the team frequently visions what their hockey trip will be like.
“He’s a little nervous with the different languages and stuff, but he’s excited for the big turnouts and big competition they talk about,” Jacob’s dad, Bill Truscott, said.
While Truscott’s early career has led him to titles and tournaments abroad, his inspiration comes back home to three former and a current Port Huron Northern hockey players. His grandfather, Charles, father and brothers Kyle, 20, and Dakota, 14, are all reasons Jacob is on the path to an unforgettable year of hockey.
“(My grandfather and father) influenced me to work hard, and my brothers have helped me improve my skills, and they’ve helped me succeed,” Jacob said.
In the end it’s still Jacob putting in the daily work at his young age, something that could keep carrying him to the biggest stages in youth hockey.
“He’s a hard worker, and every day I see him shooting pucks or trying to get better,” Bill said. “He just loves playing the game of hockey.”