If Sylvania natives Alden Hirschfeld and Tyler Pilmore need any advice about playing for their hometown professional hockey team, they don’t need to go far.
Defenseman Phil Rauch, a native of Lambertville, Mich., has played two full seasons for the Walleye. All 143 of his games as a pro have been with Toledo.
“It will be good to show them how great it is to play for Toledo,” Rauch said.
Rauch played in 71 games last season and had a plus-minus rating of plus-12. He scored one goal and had nine assists to go along with a career-high 67 penalty minutes.
Rauch said the trio exchanged stories about watching Toledo's former pro team at the old Sports Arena.
“There's been a lot of old time talk about the Toledo Storm," Rauch said. "It's great to have these guys around.”
Rauch is a 2005 graduate of St. Francis de Sales, but didn’t play for the Knights. He played travel hockey with a team based in Detroit. He played at Canisius College and was named a captain as a senior.
His first professional year was 2011-12, when he appeared in all 72 games for the Walleye with a career-high four goals and nine assists.
“Phil is an extremely smart hockey player,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “He gives tremendous effort, and is always in the right areas on the ice. It is great to have him back on our defense core.”