Silverbacks’ alumni and former star forward of Salmon Arm’s junior A squad, Taro Hirose hit a milestone in his NHL career with his first recorded goal for the Detroit Red Wings.
The goal was a tie-breaker against the Boston Bruins that would win the game for Detroit.
Early in the third, Red Wings’ skater Anthony Mantha tied the game at 3-3, setting things up for the tie-breaker goal. A mere eight seconds later, Hirose would come flying in behind teammates Andreas Athanasiou and Niklas Kronwall, picking up the puck and making a furious push to the net to flick in his career-first NHL goal.
Athanasiou was speeding towards the net and looking for a shot on goal when he made a slick little backwards pass to Hirose, who was quick on his feet and made an immediate flick with the puck and fired it cleanly past the Bruins’ goaltender. The Red Wings would go on to win the game 6-3 over the Bruins after a four-goal third period.
Hirose played for two seasons with the Silverbacks, racking up 121 points in 116 games with the team, showcasing a reliable offensive skillset that gave him the opportunity to sign with Michigan State University, where he played for the past three seasons with the Spartans. During his time in Michigan, he again excelled in the numbers department with 116 points in 106 games. During the 2018-19 season he led the entire American NCAA league in points (50), points-per-game (1.47), assists (35), and multi-point games (24), also being named player of the year.
Since being drafted to the Red Wings, Hirose has put up six points in seven games and garnered praise from fellow players and fans on social media for his smooth transition to professional hockey.