The rookie defenseman played in his first game Wednesday night for the Bears against in-state rival, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Sunday Troy Mann had said, “The plan all along for him when he got to Hershey last week was to give him a full week of practice before we threw him into the fire.”
Apparently Siegenthaler isn’t afraid of fire.
Siegenthaler held his own in the game and recorded an assist on fellow defenseman, Erik Burgdoerfer’s second period goal at 17:00.
As if getting on the score sheet in his first AHL game wasn’t enough to make it memorable, his teammates made it even more so, blasting the Phantoms on their home ice 8-0.
Perhaps it was a little bit of message sent-message received after the dual losses to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton over the weekend.
Perhaps it was a little bit of frustration at losing to the other in-state rival and also losing sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.
Perhaps the Phantoms just aren’t that good.
Perhaps the Bears can be that good and Siegenthaler has joined the team at the right time for a lengthy playoff run.
Whatever the reason, it had to make a good impression on the young man from Switzerland.
Hershey got off to a terrific first period start in front of Dan Ellis who was “unavailable” in Sunday night’s loss for undisclosed reasons. Mann said Ellis would start Wednesday, but would not make Friday’s trip to Utica in order to rest. Mark Dekanich was recalled from South Carolina and joined the team yesterday. He will make Friday’s trip instead, but Ellis turned away all 21 shots the Phantoms managed to send his way for his third shutout of the season.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Hershey’s offense was firing on all cylinders. That’s a terrific sign for the Bears as they head towards the playoffs.
“At this time of year, we’re always adding kids. That’s just what happens in March and April,” said Mann. “He’s (Seigenthaler) the one kid we actually think might be able to help us down the stretch here in playoffs. He’s a big body…he skates well.”
If last night’s performance is any indication, Siegenthaler and the Bears will be just fine.
By Julie Beidler
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