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Pistons going bald for a good cause

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While many men have been staying away from razors this month, Kyle Rous and Zach Rakochy are getting ready for a close shave.

The teammates with the Steinbach Pistons of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League will be shaving off their lengthy hair on Nov. 30 in support of two worthy causes.

Rous, the Pistons’ captain and a Southdale resident, is raising money for prostate cancer research, the same cause that’s prompted so many men to grow moustaches for ‘Movember.’

Rakochy, meanwhile, has chosen the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Manitoba division.

The teammates are hoping to raise at least $1,000 each in pledges. The person who donates the most to each player will get the first swipe at their hair on the ice following the Pistons’ game against the Winnipeg Blues.

Both Pistons have personal reasons for choosing their beneficiaries.

"I’ve had friends with family members who’ve gone through cancer," Rous said. "I know how hard it is for people, and I’m hoping one day they’ll find a cure."

Rakochy, a Saskatchewan native in his second season with the Pistons, lost one of his best friends to depression over the summer.

"I’m just doing this for him," he said. "Talking about (mental health issues) is what I want. That’s all that really matters. My best buddy didn’t really talk about it that much. He just never really told anyone about it, and hid it really well."

Both players have been growing their hair for the better part of a year. Rous originally planned to donate his hair for a wig, but decided it would take too long to grow to the needed length.

"I figured I might as well get donations and cut it off that way," said the fourth-year defenceman. "People have been coming up to me saying we’re doing a great job, and they’re proud of us for doing our part."

Donations are being accepted at all Pistons home game. The team is drawing about 800 fans per game this season.

The Pistons, who have been climbing their way back toward the .500 mark since making some early-season trades, have made a point of getting involved in their local community.

"Usually if stuff is going on we try to be there," Rous said. "We go to school assemblies, charity events and stuff like that."

avi.saper@canstarnews.com

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