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Former BG goalie Sigalet still recovering after on-ice collapse

Often in sports, athletes can teach some of life’s most important lessons, even when they’re not in the game.

Jordan Sigalet, who graduated from BG in 2005, remains one such teacher. For those unfamiliar with his story, Sigalet’s college and professional hockey career could certainly be classified as an emotional roller coaster.

In his senior year, the Falcon goalie nearly took home the Hobey Baker Award – given annually to the best NCAA men’s ice hockey player in the country. A year earlier as a junior, however, Sigalet had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS, a disease that severely affects the central nervous system.

Sigalet played through the disease while at Bowling Green, and also after graduating when he joined the Boston Bruins’ American Hockey League farm team in Providence, RI. He’s adjusted well, not only physically to a new routine that helps control MS, but also mentally as well.

Coach Scott Paluch, for whom Sigalet played in three of his four seasons, commented at length about the only Falcon goalie ever to be named a captain. Paluch spoke with Sigalet a week ago on the day before Thanksgiving.

‘He’s a tremendous person,’ Paluch said. ‘I think in the way he’s handled the prognosis of the disease and going through it, he’s been a real lesson for all of us in how to handle ups and downs.’

Sigalet has certainly dealt with his share of those, literally, as the Boston Bruins have actually called Sigalet up to the NHL on two occasions. The first was in 2005-2006 when he appeared in a single game, replacing the injured starting goaltender late in the third period. He began his second short NHL stint on October 30, 2007, but saw no game action and was reassigned to Providence shortly thereafter.

However, on November 16, less than two weeks ago, the disease again reared its ugly head in Sigalet’s third start for Providence this season.

His body went completely numb and he collapsed on the ice with ten minutes left in a game against the Worcester Sharks. He left the arena awake and conscious, and has been on a steady road to recovery ever since.

Paluch described Sigalet’s current medical state as ‘coming along slowly,’ and noted that he has begun to walk again with the assistance of a walker.

‘He’s been outstanding [dealing with the latest setback],’ Paluch said. ‘Certainly our thoughts and prayers have been with him since the news. When I talked with him last Wednesday, he was so upbeat and positive and he continues to be that way.’

Even when he’s not between the pipes, Jordan Sigalet endures as a shining example that there is much in life worth fighting for.

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