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Hamilton brothers eager to play first NHL game together

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- October 23, 2013.

That is the last time Dougie and Freddie Hamilton have been on the same sheet of ice at the NHL level.

It wasn't their preferred set-up, however, as they were on opposite sides of the rink. Dougie was a member of the Boston Bruins at the time. Freddie was dressed in San Jose Sharks silks.

Dougie and the Bruins were able to squeak out a 2-1 victory over the Freddie and the Sharks that night. Dougie, then in his sophomore season, stuck with the Bruins while Freddie went back-and-forth between the NHL and AHL that year.

"It was pretty cool, but it’s not how we wanted it," Dougie noted. "If we get to play together tonight, I think that’s how we wanted it. It’s a cool thing and we’re going to take it all in."

Recalled from the Stockton Heat on an emergency basis this morning, Freddie may have the chance to play alongside his younger brother when the Flames square off against the Winnipeg Jets.

Officially a game-time decision, the team is waiting to evaluate the forwards with bumps and bruises to determine if Freddie's services are needed. If his name is on the roster tonight, he is confident in his ability to slide and have an impact.

"I think I’m definitely ready to come up here and contribute and it’s up to me to try and prove that. Hopefully I get a chance here tonight and show what I can do," he said after the Flames morning skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"I think I’ve developed a lot. I think my game is a lot better and a lot physically stronger and faster than when I first came to the league. Those were both great experiences for me and especially helped me out here with coming to a new team, with new coaches and new players. I feel like I’ve done it now, having been with a couple teams, so it was easier to get used to it today."

If Freddie does get into the lineup, it will be the first time he and Dougie have played together since their Ontario Hockey League days. Both drafted by the Niagara IceDogs, they spent three seasons playing together in the OHL.

"It’s something that we’ve thought about for a long time and pictured happening and dreamt about, so it’s pretty cool," Dougie acknowledged. "To be in the same room right now and on the ice together again, it’s a lot of fun.

"As kids, you dream of playing in the NHL and for us as brothers, to dream of playing in the NHL together. We watched a lot of brothers when we were younger, the Niedermayer's and others. To be so young and have this opportunity this early in our careers, it’s a pretty special feeling."

In a unique twist, this isn't the first time the pair have hit the ice together at the 'Dome. The Toronto, ON natives both played for Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary.

Both were consistent point producers for the Canadians that year, with Dougie scoring two goals and six points in six skates and Freddie netting one goal and seven points in six games.

Canada captured bronze in 2012, blanking Finland 4-0 in their final game. Freddie had two assists while Dougie had one helper in that victory.

"We walked in and I showed him the rink and he said, ‘It reminds me of the World Juniors.'" Dougie noted. "For me, I get those memories sometimes when I walk into the rink and hotels and stuff. It’s pretty cool to bring that memory back and create some more."

Their parents, Lynn and Doug, will be making the trip out from Ontario today in case Freddie is in the lineup. The former Olympians have been there for every step of their sons careers and wouldn't pass up the opportunity to see them skate for the same NHL club for the first time.

"They’ve been huge for both of us, very supportive," Freddie explained. "It’s great for us too, but we want to make this moment for them too because of all they’ve done for us.

"We’ve all been waiting for this for long time and have been really excited about it. Hopefully it happens today, but we’ll see. Whenever it happens, it will be a great day for us, our parents, and our family for sure."

If both Hamilton's play tonight, it will be the first time since Robyn and Richie Regehr played together in the 2006-07 campaign that the Flames' have had a pair of brothers on the roster.

The Regehr brothers last game together came on Dec. 26, 2006. Robyn put in 24:59 of work in the 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks while Richie was limited to 1:05 due to an injury.

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