Back in the day, there was a bucket full of hockey gear in the Thudium household.
The four brothers, Dylan, Chase, Brady and Hunter would pick out some gloves and sticks, pile out on to the backyard rink after school and inevitably get embroiled in a heated game of 2-on-2.
Chase even remembers a time when stitches were required to close up a cut, after a supposed arrant shot from his brother Dylan, caught him in the head. No hard feelings, Chase recalled.
This season with the RDC Kings, the pair have reunited one of those old pond hockey duos.
Dylan a forward, in his third year with the Kings and Chase a forward, joined the squad this season for his first campaign in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
“It’s pretty cool. We played together for a year in Grande Prairie and it was a lot of fun. Team wasn’t great but hopefully it will be better this year,” Dylan said.
So far this season, the older brother has been showing his younger sibling how to do his job. Dylan has three goals in two games, which leads the ACAC. He only had four goals all of last season. He’s hoping soon enough Chase will pick up the slack.
“I’ve had a few lucky bounces, but I think he’s been the better player,” Dylan said. “He’s a little bit more of a skilled player than me so I have to give it to him when I can. He’ll have 20 more goals than me by the end of the year.”
Chase added: “He’s been leading by example.”
The two brothers first suited up together four years ago with the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Chase even lived with his older brother at the time, his first season away from home and they each said it was a cool experience the first time around.
“He was my rookie and it was a different experience for him playing against faster and stronger players. This time he’s hopped right in and been dominant, that’s just how this league is, guys are coming with three or four years of junior under there belt. He’s a lot more mature,” Dylan said.
Chase moved onto the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from Grande Prairie where he played two seasons with the Nipawin Hawks. Through two seasons in the SJHL, he had 42 goals and 91 points in 113 games. Last year with the Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League in Texas, he had 70 points in 59 games. The younger Thudium said having his older brother at RDC was key to him coming back home to Alberta to play this year.
“It’s been good, didn’t know what to expect coming into this league and I think we have a good team,” Chase said.
Not only have the two been able to reunite on the ice, but off it they’ve been able to enjoy a few more home cooked meals together back in Sylvan Lake. Being so close to home even means they get a few more fans in the stands.
“It’s nice to have family at the games, we usually have our grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends. It’s nice to have them around,” Dylan said.
“It’s nice knowing you’ve got a home-cooked meal waiting for you at home every day,” Chase added.
Off to a 2-0 start to the season, the RDC Kings will square off with the University Of Alberta-Augustana on Friday night in Penhold.
Email sports info and tips to sports reporter Byron Hackett
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