Profile: Men's hockey's Westgarth brothers
Recently, 'Prince' senior writer Sofia Mata-Leclerc sat down with sophomore defender Brett and freshman forward Kevin Westgarth of the men's hockey team to discuss fighting, trivia and a little hockey.
'Prince': How did you start playing hockey?
Brett Westgarth: When I was seven years old, I went to the rink with dad, sort of just the regular Canadian thing. We started at the same time.
Kevin Westgarth: I've basically been skating outside since I was two or so and just eventually started playing ice hockey and that's what ended up happening — this beginning of a life long . . .
B: Love affair?
K: Love affair.
P: So you played on the same team?
B: Yeah the first three years but eventually we had to split up because of the age [difference] so our parents had to do a lot of traveling.
K: So it was a real treat for our parents when eventually we made it on Junior B for the same team. Then the year after that he came here and then the year after that I came here as well. So it makes it a lot easier for them than running all over the province to watch us play.
B: Yeah, so basically he's been following me around.
K: Yes, I have — riding the coattails!
P: Do you have any nicknames?
B: When I first showed up here I was Viking. That one stuck for most of last year, but you can't keep the good nicknames.
P: And why did they call you that?
B: Because I was pretty big and I guess they thought I looked like a Viking.
K: Yeah, I think the Smash Brothers and Bash Brothers have been thrown around a bit.
P: So is there ever any rivalry between you two?
B: Not really, we play different positions. He plays forward, I play defense. It was probably smart of our parents to put us in different positions.
P: What about in practice? K: Yeah for sure. One thing that I find is basically, being the two bigger guys on the team sometimes when you're up against a little guy you don't have to go quite as hard and then you get put up against someone who is about your same size and strength and then the sibling thing is adding to that and it just becomes a lot more fierce.
P: Do you have any good stories to tell?
B: He punched me in the face and gave me a bloody nose once when I was five.
P: Why did he punch you?
B: I think I was making fun of him or something.
K: Yeah, I think he got to see this house once that always put up good Christmas decorations, and he got to see it twice and I only got to see it once. But, the team seems to be waiting on the big Westgarth brothers contest.
P: How would you describe each other?
B: Personality wise, we're polar opposites.
K: I'm not really sure what the personality types are, but I think I'm A and he's B.
B: Whereas I like privacy, he likes to be the center of attention — that's why he loves karaoke, he loves getting up in front of people and belting out a song.
P: What are you favorite aspects of playing hockey?
B: I like the competition.
P: Yes, but you could play anything and have competition—you could play golf.
B: I like to be able to affect how my opponent can play. It's much more direct competition.
K: It just seems right to me. Like the whole heritage of the game. We've always been really involved in the history, just knowing a lot about the game. The amount of hockey stats and trivia books I have.
B: His knowledge of trivial facts is astounding.
P: What's your favorite piece of useless trivia?
K: The best hockey fact of all time, there are actually two. The highest bribe ever offered by a player is one billion dollars by Eddie Belfour to the Dallas police because they caught him drunk and probably high, breaking the sh*t out of his hotel room. And the other one is most goals scored by a drunk player in an NHL playoff game and the answer to that is five by Reggie Leach. Leach before a playoff game went out and got really drunk, so instead of playing with a hangover he decided to take the Budweiser cure and just play the game that way and ended up scoring 5 goals in a 6 to 4 victory so it just goes to show something, and don't exactly know what that is.
P: I hear you guys were getting scouted.
K: Yeah, earlier in the season I was ranked on the preliminary draft list for college players and basically probably I need to have more points and stats than I do. It's just a lot harder to get points in this league than it has been in previous years, but it's one of those dreams.
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