DUBUQUE – For some, twins are double the trouble, but for the Dubuque Fighting Saints, things have been twice as nice since the addition of Mitchell and Evan Smith.
“We grew up on the same team, we’ve played together since we were two–like since we started playing hockey,” commented Mitchell and Evan.
As identical twins, Mitchell and Evan Smith have a blade up on the competition. Dubuque Fighting Saints Head Coach Matt Shaw explains,
“The advantage is they’ve grown up playing with each other so they share a brain essentially on the ice because they’ve played together so much.”
Having shared the ice of every team they’ve ever been on, the Smith twins have a chemistry that would make a scientist jealous.
“Wherever I would be, I know that he would be there–just from growing up, being together, playing on the same line. It’s a lot easier to play together.”
But it’s more than their communication– and their matching physique– that separates them from the other athletes.
“They’re guys you want to build the team around because they do everything well.
Their details and their game are excellent, and usually you have that with a player, you get everything in a pair with them, and that’s why they are a dynamic twosome when they’re on the ice,” Shaw states.
That dynamic twosome was threatened last year during the OHL draft when Evan was drafted in the third round to the Owen Sound Attack and Mitchell followed in the eighth round–picked by the Plymouth Whalers,
“That was kind of big for us because we always wanted to play together”
The USHL draft answered that wish as both boys were drafted to Dubuque and joined the Fighting Saints in 2014. They’ll stick together still as they move on to Yale following next season.
“An Ivy League education is what we really wanted. Growing up, education was huge. To choose Yale, it’s even a bigger thing to be known worldwide… This is a school we could have a great life after with,” Evan exclaims.
The hockey ice– although cold and slippery to most– has been a strong foundation to build something far more important than athletic skills: their relationship as brothers
“We’re here, in Dubuque, IA… We’re from Toronto! We came here for hockey and we’re together. It’s just the whole experience… and to do it with your twin brother, just makes you that much closer as a friend too.”
Makaila is a senior at Loras from Des Moines, IA. She has acted as reporter, anchor, and Associate Producer for various LCTV programs. Makaila is currently a sideline reporter for Live Sports and the Social Media Manager for LCTV. She has obtained previous internship experience with iHeart Media in Des Moines, the Iowa Events Center, and Country Music Television (CMT) in Nashville. Makaila loves sharing stories that matter and working with one of the best collegiate television stations in the Midwest.