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Twin brothers stay connected through UMD men's hockey

Anthony Seidel's favorite athlete is Mike Seidel, and isn't that only right? Shouldn't your twin brother be your biggest fan? Anthony is driving 475 miles from Chicago to see Mike, Minnesota Duluth's leading scorer, face Denver at 7:07 p.m. today...

Mike Seidel
Maine's Mike Cornell (left) collides with Minnesota Duluth's Mike Seidel during the second period of an NCAA Northeast Regional college hockey semifinal in March 2012 in Worcester, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Anthony Seidel's favorite athlete is Mike Seidel, and isn't that only right? Shouldn't your twin brother be your biggest fan?

Anthony is driving 475 miles from Chicago to see Mike, Minnesota Duluth's leading scorer, face Denver at 7:07 p.m. today to open a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men's series at Amsoil Arena.

No sibling rivalry here. Anthony has made the trip many times the past four years, and was at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center when UMD won the 2011 NCAA title, and often traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when Mike played in the U.S. Hockey League. And Mike will be best man when Anthony marries Paige Vachata on July 26.

"Mike and I have never had a problem. We've been best friends since I can remember," Anthony Seidel said this week from home. "We come from a close-knit family, from the south side of Chicago, and we always support each other in everything we do."

The twins, age 24 (Mike is three minutes older), played briefly on the same mite hockey team before Anthony left goaltending for wrestling. Mike was taller and heavier while growing up and they looked like anything but twins at Hinsdale South High School in Darien, Ill. They shared the same room until Mike headed to Cedar Rapids in 2006.

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They still talk four or five times a week about everything, including the youngest of four brothers, Joseph, 11, a youth hockey player.

"Anthony loves hockey and if he isn't at our games, he's watching them online. He's always been there for me," said Mike Seidel, a senior who has played right and left wing for the Bulldogs.

Their parents, Alfred and Joann, may also be in Duluth this weekend, although Alfred's work as a field supervisor, on the late-night shift for Exelon Energy Corporation, often makes travel difficult. Both were raised in Chicago and joined Italian and Croatian heritages when married.

Anthony resides in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood, near U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, and Mike has lived there most summers while in college.

Mike Seidel (no relation to the Weather Channel reporter of the same name, who was in Duluth last February for a snowstorm) is the fourth Illinois native to play at UMD and has 77 points (including 42 goals) in 137 games. He skated last season on a line centered by 2012 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jack Connolly and is best-remembered for a series-clinching goal as UMD defeated Minnesota State-Mankato 3-2 in double overtime in the WCHA's first playoff round.

"Mike has always been a good shooter and this season he came back to school in much better shape, and that showed from the start," said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. "He's stronger, he's quicker, he's more confident, and has taken a larger leadership role."

Seidel, a communication major, has 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 24 games, and his center most of the season has been freshman Tony Cameranesi of Plymouth, Minn. Cameranesi is second in scoring, and second among WCHA rookies, with 22 points.

In 53 career games in which Seidel has at least one point, UMD is 36-9-8.

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"(Seidel) is always in the right spot; he thinks the game so well. He's just a smart player," says Cameranesi. "He's always smiling. He's excited to be at the rink."

Anthony Seidel, at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, has overtaken his brother, 5-9 and 175, and the older they get, the more alike they look, and the closer they've become.

"Mike is a great kid. He's a very happy person, who laughs at bad jokes," said Anthony, an apprentice electrician lineman. "In our family you are raised to look at the bright side of things. You need to be upbeat or you won't last with our relatives."

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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