December 14, 2011
Hamiltons make hockey history
By SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Team Canada goaltender Mark Visentin is one sharp cookie.
Prior to graduating high school, the Niagara IceDogs puckstopper put up some pretty good grades.
But his hopes of snagging one of the club’s monthly scholastic awards were dashed by the Hamilton brothers, Freddie and Dougie.
“I was sitting there with about an 82% or an 84%,” Visentin said. “But it’s kinda hard to beat 99% and 100%.
“I tried getting it, but it was unreachable with those guys there. But that’s the way it goes. They’re really smart guys.”
That intelligence — and a whole lot of skill — helped both siblings nail down spots on the Team Canada roster Wednesday.
They become the first brother combination to suit up for the Canadians in 30 years.
Duplicating a feat last accomplished by Mike and Randy Moller is something Freddie Hamilton said he’ll never forget.
“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me in hockey,” Freddie said of sharing the spotlight with his younger brother at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“I’m really excited, and he is, too. Just to go through it with him makes it even better.”
Dougie, the defenceman, said he’s looking forward to playing with Freddie, a slick-skating winger, again.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” Dougie said. “Playing the last couple of years with him in Niagara has been pretty special.
“Being able to represent your country together at the highest level is definitely special for us.”
The brothers will be spending Christmas in Edmonton before the squad shifts to Calgary — hopefully — for the medal round.
Dougie said he can’t remember spending the holidays anywhere other than at his Toronto home.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had one away from home,” Dougie said. “So, I think (our parents) be down here for Christmas, and we’ll be able to share it as a family.”
The Hamilton parents — Doug and Lynn — have played big roles in the successful young careers of their children.
And both are accomplished athletes in their own right. They each competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics — Doug won a bronze medal in rowing (quadruple sculls) while Lynn was a member of the women’s basketball team.
So when they speak, Freddie, a San Jose Sharks prospect, and Dougie, who recently inked an entry-level deal with the Boston Bruins, listen.
And the parents had some advice prior to the Team Canada selection camp.
“They just said to come out here and play our best and play the way we can and let things take care of themselves,” Freddie said. “They said not to worry about everything that’s going on and to take care of our own game.
“They’re very supportive, and we’re both thankful for them.”
Wednesday was a proud day for the Hamilton parents.
“They’re thrilled,” Freddie said. “It was hard on them the last couple of days. I don’t think they got much sleep either.
“But they can sleep easy now.”
On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher