The Super Bowl’s Harbaugh brothers weren’t the only sibling pair to face each other in high-level competition this past weekend.
On Friday (Feb. 1) Squamish Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) products Josh and Dalton Thrower battled each other on the ice for the first time ever in the Western Hockey League.
Older brother Dalton and his Saskatoon Blades team skated away with a 6-0 win over Josh and the Calgary Hitmen. For father Murray Thrower, it was a special moment.
“We weren’t sure if Josh was going to be in the lineup,” Murray said, noting that he, wife Melanie and daughter Danae were going to attend the game regardless as it was Blades’ family night. “Calgary had a veteran defensive core and there really was no guarantee Josh would be playing.”
Flight complications also left the Thrower family scrambling to make it to Saskatoon after being punted from their flight in Calgary.
“We were flying standby and when we stopped in Calgary, we found out that someone had our seats,” he said. “We still didn’t know if Josh was going to play but we still scrambled and found an Air Canada flight that would get us to Saskatoon on short time.”
About $1,000 later, the trio arrived in Saskatoon and Dalton sent word via text message that Josh was going to be in the lineup for the Hitmen.
“It was pretty awesome,” Murray said. “Dalton told me that they both stepped on the ice at the exact same time and he looked over at Josh and said, ‘Hey Thrower, are we going tonight?’”
Murray joked that he told both boys beforehand that they would be in trouble if they dropped the gloves against each other.
“We did talk about it,” he said. “I think both of them recognized it would be awkward if they got into a fight. I realize stuff happens on the ice but they knew they would be in trouble if they fought each other. My biggest fear really is that one of them would get hurt.”
He added that Calgary didn’t play its best game but said that it was probably the best game he’s seen Saskatoon play all season. Both teams are jockeying for playoff position in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, with Calgary ranked third and Saskatoon in fifth. However, the Blades are already guaranteed a spot in the 2013 Memorial Cup as they’re hosting the major junior hockey tournament finale.
For more information on both teams, visit www.whl.ca.