MEN’S HOCKEY: Sillinger brothers team up for milestone goal

Lukas Sillinger scored his first collegiate goal on a give-and-go from older brother Owen Sillinger in Bemidji State's 6-3 win on Saturday.

121620.S.BP.BSUMHKY Owen Sillinger.jpg
Bemidji State's Owen Sillinger (12) passes to his brother Lukas Sillinger (20) for a goal in the second period against Michigan Tech on Saturday at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Lukas Sillinger probably couldn’t have scripted his first collegiate goal any better.

The freshman for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team scored on a nifty give-and-go in the second period of a 6-3 home win over Michigan Tech on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Who was the teammate that passed up a goal-scoring opportunity, and instead slid the puck back across the slot for the freshman’s first goal?

That’d be Owen Sillinger, Lukas’ older brother, naturally.

“It was a very special moment,” Lukas said. “Having the connection with (Owen) there made it even more special. … We used to play mini-sticks and street hockey and we connected a few times when we were younger. It’s nice to come full circle and actually have it happen in a real-life game.”


“It was a special moment for him, and it was a special moment for my family,” added Owen, a junior. “I’m very proud of him and congratulations to him.”

Owen played center on the first line and Lukas left wing on the second line last weekend, but they were on the ice at just the right moment Saturday.

On the play, Alex Adams played the puck up to Lukas for the breakaway alongside Owen. The younger brother played the puck across the slot to the older Sillinger, who dished it right back to Lukas. With the goalie now out of position, Lukas buried on the wide-open net for his first goal as a Beaver.

“Tech was caught in a line change, and (Adams) did a good job moving the puck up,” Lukas said. “Owen had a burst of speed coming up the middle and we kind of came in on a brief 2-on-0. We did a little tic-tac-toe play and I was able to finish it off.”

The brothers are almost exactly three years apart in age. Owen is 23 and Lukas is 20.

The Sillingers, who hail from Regina, Saskatchewan, played one season of junior hockey together for Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League in 2017-18, so they’re not completely unfamiliar with being teammates.


Does that mean the two operate on the same wavelength?

“Maybe a bit,” Owen said. “I think that we both read the ice really well. We’ve got good hockey sense, so whenever we’re given an opportunity, hopefully we can capitalize on it.”

The brothers certainly aren’t the first to play for BSU, but they’re the first since the Fitzgerald triplets of Gerry, Leo and Myles were seniors in 2017-18.

“It’s great to have a set of brothers, and I don’t think you could ask for a better script,” head coach Tom Serratore said. “That goal was awesome. … That was fun. I’m sure it was exciting for the family. Heck, it was exciting for me on the bench as a coach.”

Owen and Lukas aren’t the only hockey players in the Sillinger family.

Younger brother, Cole, plays for Medicine Hat in the Western Hockey League. And of course their father, Mike, played 18 NHL seasons from 1990-91 to 2008-09.

Owen has already accumulated 55 points (24g-31a) as he embarks on his third season at Bemidji State. Now, Lukas has begun his collegiate career on the right foot as well.

“That family, they’re good hockey players,” Serratore said. “And (Lukas) has got a good skill set, he’s got good speed and he’s feisty. He’s getting quality minutes right now for a reason because he’s a pretty darn good player.”


“A big reason why I came to Bemidji was to play with (Owen) again,” Lukas said. “We had a blast our first year in juniors. To spend two more years here in Bemidji (playing with Owen) is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Mankato bound

Bemidji State (1-2-0) will travel to Mankato this weekend to face No. 5 Minnesota State (2-1-0) in the team’s final series before the holiday break. The nonconference series was originally set for Thanksgiving weekend, but was rescheduled to Dec. 18-19 due to positive COVID-19 tests within the MSU program.

The Mavericks prevailed 5-0 in the season opener for both teams back on Nov. 22. MSU has since returned to action and split a nonconference series at Michigan Tech.

Minnesota State’s scheduled home series against Northern Michigan last weekend was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the NMU program. The team booked a home series against Milwaukee School of Engineering instead, but those games also wound up getting canceled due to COVID-19 testing results with MSOE.

The Beavers enter the weekend coming off a nonconference series split with Michigan Tech, winning 6-3 in the opener before dropping the finale 3-0.

“(The Mavericks) are still very deep. They’re good in every area,” Serratore said. “They’re well coached. They’re the No. 1 team in our league for a reason. They’re the team that everybody’s looking up to right now.”

At a glance

Who: BSU at Minnesota State


Where: Mankato

When: 7:37 p.m. Friday; 5:07 p.m. Saturday

Radio: Beaver Radio Network/92.1 FM

Web stream:

Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at
What To Read Next
Get Local