With their parents watching from the CN Centre seats, the Breitkreuz brothers put on a show.
In Saturday's WHL game between the Vancouver Giants and Prince George Cougars, 20-year-old Brett Breitkreuz of the G-men and 18-year-old Clarke Breitkruez of the Cats took sibling rivalry to a whole new level. Brett banged in a goal on Vancouver's first shot and, two minutes later, Clarke fired home his own goal on Prince George's first shot. That set of circumstances -- brothers playing for opposing teams both scoring on initial shots -- was later announced as unprecedented in WHL history.
While the fans were still buzzing about the unlikely start, Clarke assisted on a goal by linemate Spencer Asuchak and the Cougars had a 2-1 lead. The rest of the game wasn't so great for the home team, which eventually fell 7-2. But, on the remaining Vancouver markers, Brett drew a pair of helpers.
Final Breitkreuz tally on the night -- five points on nine goals.
The Saturday contest, and one on Friday, gave the brothers their first real opportunity to go head-to-head in the WHL. Their mom and dad -- Lorna and Herb -- weren't about to miss the chance to see their boys in action so they drove all the way from Springside, Sask., so they could take in the weekend tilts. For Clarke, there was the added bonus that they made the journey in his car, a Pontiac Sunfire, and then left it here for him.
Clarke, whose goal was his first in the WHL, acknowledged the fact that Saturday was a special night for the Breitkreuz family. He just would have preferred a different result on the scoreboard.
"I play on the Prince George Cougars, not the Vancouver Giants, and so every time I'm on the ice I want our team to win and I want our team to be successful," Clarke said. "It's great for (Brett) -- I love him and support him and when he can have big nights, that's great. But, again, I'm here for the Cougars and want the best for us."
The Breitkreuz clash was made possible by a strange twist of fate. Clarke started his season skating for the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and joined the Cougars on Dec. 27. As for Brett, he was a member of the Edmonton Oil Kings until the Giants picked him up at the Jan. 10 trade deadline. In the games against the Cougars, he was making his debut for the Giants.
From Brett's perspective, earning the four points was a case of mission accomplished for his new club. Outside of that, he was happy to see Clarke shine for the Cougars.
"It was good for him," Brett said. "I thought he played pretty well and went to the net so I was proud of him."
Brett also said he's getting accustomed to playing for the Giants and head coach Don Hay.
"I'm starting to feel more comfortable here, just getting used to Don's systems and the things that he's preaching," Brett said. "It's great getting to play with the guys they've got here. Obviously there are some pretty special players here so I'm just trying to make the most of it."