Off the ice, theyre cousins and best friends. On the ice, its anything goes.
Thats how two players treated the three-game series between Idaho and Stockton that ended Saturday night. The Thunder won Saturdays game 4-3.
Idaho defenseman Dalton Reum wore a Steelheads uniform during the series. His cousin and best friend, defenseman Landon Oslanski, was in a Stockton sweater.
Weve been like brothers since the day we were born, so its kind of cool to play against him, Reum said. We grew up together and literally lived two blocks away from each other.
The two grew up playing hockey as teammates and opponents.
Its a little family rivalry, Reum said.
Reum said playing against Oslanski can create some conflicting emotions.
Sometimes we go into a corner in a scrum, and I see him and think, Oh God, what am I going to do now?
Idaho coach Brad Ralph said the answer to that question is clear-cut.
Once youre on the ice, theres no friends, Ralph said. You finish your checks on that guy as hard as anyone.
And, ultimately, thats exactly how Reum knows he needs to play.
Off the ice, were best friends, he said. But on the ice, weve still got to play a hockey game.
Oslanski got the bragging rights Saturday night, but Reum was able to counter with this: Idaho won the first two games of the series.
Its always going to be a battle, said Olanski, who pointed out the Thunder won two games in Stockton and lead the season series 3-2. But we keep it on the ice, and thats how it works.
ANOTHER AUSTIN BREAKS THROUGH
Friday night, Idaho forward Austin Fyten scored his first goal of the season and finished with a hat trick.
There was no hat trick for Austin Smith on Saturday, but he did manage to score his first goal of the season.
Smiths third-period score came after he was shut out in nine games with Texas of the AHL and three games with Idaho. It was a rare drought for a player who led the NCAA in goals (36) as a senior at Colgate and had 27 goals in 38 games with Idaho last season as a rookie.
Idaho forward Mitch Wahl extended his point streak to 14 games with an assist on Idahos third goal. Wahl is one game away from tying the franchise record for longest point streak during the ECHL era.
NOTES: A late scrum resulted in four 10-minute game misconducts. Idaho goaltender Pat Nagle (5-4-2) took the loss after stopping 37-of-41 shots.