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Kempe Brothers Reunited in Quest for Gold at 2019 World Championship

Much to their family's delight, Adrian and Mario Kempe suit up together as Sweden aims to capture third straight Gold Medal

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / LAKings.com

Adrian Kempe admits, openly and freely without any debate, that his roommate at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia is in full control of their shared accommodation.

Seniority is a thing, after all.

Especially when it's big brother.

Especially when Mario Kempe, a forward with the Arizona Coyotes doubling as Adrian's teammate in the tournament, is eight years his senior.

"I have to kind of let him control," Adrian confesses. "But we're really good friends. We're not fighting or anything like that.

"I'll take what he gives me."

It might not be much.

Siblings, after all.

"I'm in charge," Mario announces. "I'm older so he doesn't have much say. But it's fun. We're really tight and live next door to each other back in Stockholm, so it's great having him here."

After netting 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 81 games this season and on the heels of winning Gold with Sweden at the 2018 World Championship, Adrian was invited to try to repeat as champion.

Tweet from @adriankempe: 💛💙 pic.twitter.com/dKxuFj0LHT

Mario, who had nine points (four goals, five assists) in 52 games with the Arizona Coyotes, is making his national team debut.

Together.

"It means a lot," Mario says. "It probably means the most to my dad. He's the proudest ever. When he called, he said he saw us in the lineup and had tears in his eyes. It's pretty cool. When you think about it, it's eight years difference between us. I've been trying to teach Adrian growing up everything I know. I remember the first time he was skating. Now we're on the ice together for the National team. It's pretty amazing.

"It's a pretty cool story, I think. We took different paths to where we are right now. It's very cool."

The brother, naturally, echoes the sentiment.

Instagram from @mariokempe20: ❤

"I think it's even more special for our parents," says Adrian, who had eight points (two goals, six assists) in last year's event. "When we grew up, they did everything for me and Mario and we both made it this far. It's pretty awesome. I think they're very proud of us.

"I think they're really excited for us."

There's plenty of reason to be.

It's been quite some time since the duo has suited up alongside each other.

Adrian, just 17 at the time, suited up with MODO of the Swedish Hockey League in 2013-14. Mario was just finishing up his last season with the club.

"We played one game together on the same line," Mario recalls. "We had a really good time together, just clicking on the ice. We click good off the ice. I know where he's skating. He knows where I'm skating. It was so fun playing together.

"It was unbelievable."

So long ago, in fact, that they've been more recently, more frequently, on opposite crews.

Adrian, 22, now with the Kings. Mario, 30, now with the Coyotes.

Both were in the starting lineup at Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ just a few months ago.

Adrian on one side of the draw. Mario on the other.

A clean win for little brother.

"That was pretty funny," Adrian says. "We both had a pretty good game it was awesome."

"That was pretty cool, just taking the face-offs against each other on the first drop," Mario says. "It was pretty cool. Our mom was there, too. It was a pretty special moment too, for sure. Definitely a memory for life.

"We ended up playing against each other a lot and took a lot of face-offs against each other. It was great. I was actually surprised by how good he was. But I'm still better at face-offs."

They're drawing on the same side for at least the next two weeks.

Instagram from @adriankempe: Great to see my fam in AZ❤

"Even though we live in the same time zone and talk a lot, we obviously don't have much time to hang out," Mario says. "It's really great having these weeks to hang out and play world-class hockey together."

In the quest for Gold, no less.

"Obviously that's our goal," Adrian says. "For me, it was my first time here last year. It was a really fun tournament to play in. The way our team plays as well is really fun to play. I think that we, both me and my brother, get the opportunity this year is really exciting.

"We're going to look forward to keep going here in the tournament."

Instagram from @adriankempe: 👑👑👑 #körvi

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