Editor's Note: We'll be running features on members of the Wilmington boys hockey team daily in advance of Sunday afternoon's Division 2 state championship game between the Wildcats and Franklin at TD Garden. Puck drops at 3:30 p.m.
For Wilmington High School, earning a trip to the Division 2 hockey championship is extremely rare. But for the Siegel brothers, it runs in the family.
Eric Siegel, 21, led the Wildcats to their first ever appearance in 2008, which they lost in a close contest. This year, is a role player who plays with high energy for Wilmington as they look to bring home the only hockey title in school history against Franklin on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
“It’s very strange,” said , who was behind the bench for both teams. “That’s the stars lining up I guess.”
From pond hockey games in their backyard to street hockey games in the driveway, Adam and Eric have had hockey in their blood for most of their lives.
Adam was in the stands for nearly every one of his brother’s games growing up, and Eric has seen several of his younger brother’s games this year as the team .
“With Adam, I see a smart player who’s always in position,” said Eric. “I hope they win it. That’s my only regret is that we weren’t able to get the win, so hopefully he can take it home for us.”
Scanlon remembers Eric as an imposing player who was a marquis forward on a powerful Wilmington team. The elder Siegel brother was a two-time league all-star who could take over a game at any time.
Adam, meanwhile, isn’t known for gaudy numbers. But what he brings to the team is equally as important according to his mentor.
“He’s a team-first kid who will do anything for the team. He really helps light a fire under us,” said Scanlon. “They both love the game. They love to play hockey and you can always see that in them. They’re good guys in the locker room, the ones that you like to have around.”
The current Wildcat said that passion for the game initially came from his father, but was fueled mainly by his brother.
“My dad got us into it, but I definitely followed in my brother’s footsteps,” said Adam. “I always wanted to play because I saw him playing. That was my motivation. I wanted to be like him.”
Eric’s playing career continued with a year of prep school and then at Norwich University, where he helped the Cadets win a national championship.
Adam joked that there’s more than just a state championship on the line Sunday. There’s also family pride at stake.
“That’s part of the motivation,” said Adam, who added with a laugh that he hopes to leave TD Garden with something his brother’s team was unable to accomplish. “He’s a great hockey player, and has always been in the spotlight. I’d like to have some hardware he couldn’t get so I can throw that up on my mantle. He’s got everything else, so I’ve got to have something to compare to.”