Former Northview teammates reunite on Walleye rosterWritten by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Danielle Stanton
They were high school teammates at Sylvania Northview and now they are teammates again — this time for the Toledo Walleye.
Alden Hirschfeld and Tyler Pilmore, both forwards on the Walleye roster for the 2013-14 season, said they are excited to be playing professional hockey for their hometown team.
Pilmore, 24, made his pro debut late last season in the ECHL, playing six games with the Wheeling Nailers and two games with Toledo. Hirschfeld, 25, split his season between the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Providence Bruins and the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays.
The two reunited on the ice at Toledo’s training camp, which started Oct. 7 at the Huntington Center.
“Obviously, it’s really special to be getting to do what you always dreamed of doing and getting to do it in your hometown,” Hirschfeld said. “My wife is also from this area so it’s nice to get to experience it and enjoy it together. … I’m pretty calm but obviously I’m excited too. I’m anxious to get started playing games.”
“It’s a little chaotic right now but I’m getting used to everything,” Pilmore said. “It’s a huge step. … I’m anxious to play for my hometown. … It’s nerve-racking but definitely exciting at the same time.”
After graduating from Sylvania Northview in 2006, Hirschfeld played junior hockey in Youngstown and then got a scholarship to Miami University in Oxford. Pilmore graduated from Northview in 2008 and went on to play for Ohio University.
Hirschfeld remembers a standout game his freshman year when the Miami Red Hawks lost the national championship game to Boston University in overtime.
“It was crazy,” he said. “We were up 3 to 1. We gave up two goals at the end. It was tough.”
During his first drill on the first day of practice for Miami his freshman year, Hirschfeld broke his forearm on the goal post. He toughed it out through the practice, he said, because he didn’t want the school to think they had recruited some “wimp.”
Later, after he couldn’t untie his skates, he went for an X-ray and discovered the break. He said it doesn’t give him any problems today, but he can still feel where it healed.
Hirschfeld played in 134 games in four seasons with the Redhawks. He scored 35 goals and had 35 assists. He was assistant captain his junior year, captain his senior year and was a member of the 2011 Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship team. In high school, he played in the state championship game and was named Mr. Hockey in 2006, an award for the best high school player in Ohio.
Hirschfeld scored eight goals and eight assists between his time in Providence and South Carolina last season. He played in one game with the AHL’s Portland Pirates after his senior year.
“Alden has good size and scoring punch,” said Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci in a news release. “He is a very smart hockey player that collected a lot of experience in his first pro season. He has the ability to play at the next level and will perform well here in Toledo.”
Pilmore graduated from Ohio University this year with a degree in finance. He said he plans to take his hockey career one year at a time and hopes to use his degree one day. The Walleye signed him this summer after he attended a free agent camp.
Pilmore has been playing hockey since he was 4 years old. He learned to skate at a rink in Adrian and then at Sylvania Tam-O-Shanter. In high school, he won the league playoffs. In college, he was first-team All-American his senior year, second-team All-American his junior year and third-team All-American his sophomore year. He holds records at Ohio University for most points (227) and most assists (161) in the school’s history.
Hirschfeld started playing hockey when he was 3. His family told him they knew he had a thing for hockey when he stood staring at a hockey game on television, screaming when someone changed the channel. Soon after, he joined a “mom and me” skating class with his mother at Tam-O-Shanter and then worked with a coach.
Neither player has any injuries, just the usual aches and pains, they said. Hirschfeld’s wife, Lauren, is always concerned about his teeth, however, because he doesn’t wear a face mask.
“She’s always yelling at me to wear a mouth guard,” he said.
The Walleye take the ice at Huntington Center on Oct. 12 for a preseason exhibition game against the Kalamazoo Wings. The home opener is Oct. 26 against the Wheeling Nailers.
For tickets, call (419) 725-WALL or go to www.toledowalleye.com. Fox Sports Radio 1230 WCWA broadcasts every Walleye game live.
Tags: Central Collegiate Hockey Association, echl, Huntington Center, Kalamazoo Wings, Miami Red Hawks, Miami University, Providence, South Carolina, Sylvania Northview, Sylvania Tom-O-Shanter, Toledo Walleye, Wheeling Nailers, Youngstown