January 16, 2003
Postcard: Band of brothers

Northern Michigan freshman defenseman Jamie Milam has looked up to his older brother, Troy, his entire life. At Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich., this weekend, he'll get the chance to look directly at Troy. Dressed in the opponent's colors.

Troy Milam, a senior blueliner, is captain of surprising Ferris State. The siblings, who've never played on the same team in a competitive setting, will be on opposite sides Friday and Saturday. Previous on-ice battles have been limited to shinny on the pond in their Lake Orion, Mich., neighborhood.

"We'd always try to get 10 or 12 friends to try and play," said Jamie Milam from his hotel room in Big Rapids Thursday. "But with them not being hockey players, they'd want to go in and drink hot cocoa after a half-hour because they were cold."

The result -- Milam vs. Milam, mano a mano.

"It would be him cheap-shotting me and trying to check me into the (pond's) island," Jamie remembers. "I'd trip him or slash him in the shins. As we grew up, I got a little more competitive and a little stronger."

Troy won't be the only familiar face dressed in the home whites for Jamie. Over the course of his older brother's collegiate career, he's gotten to know a fair share of his Ferris State teammates. In fact, the two discussed the series this summer when other members of the Bulldog squad would visit the Milam household, alternately telling Jamie he was in for a rout and asking him to take it easy on them.

Over 25 family members and friends are expected to take in Saturday's series finale between the Wildcats and the Bulldogs. The Milam party won't be forced to choose sides, however, thanks to Troy and Jamie's mother, Linda. She handed out t-shirts bearing the Wildcat and Bulldog logos to relatives during the holidays.

"Christmas was a Ferris-Northern extravaganza," explains the younger Milam.

Jamie says he's thought about seeing his brother on the ice for the first time, and he's not sure how the meeting will play out. But he does have some ideas on what might happen.

"I'm either gonna look at him and smile or it's going to be the the biggest battle of the season," says Jamie.

And when asked about the possibility of both of them being in the game should tempers flare, the Wildcat rookie doubts he'd lock up with his brother.

"Both of us are the type of players to pull our teammates out," Jamie states. "He's the captain, so he probably doesn't want to get into anything. And I'm just a freshman and I definitely don't want to get into anything."

The Milams are enjoying solid seasons -- Troy has 17 points in 22 games, while Jamie has 13 points in 18 outings. In talking with Jamie, however, one gets the sense that regardless of what happens the rest of the season, this weekend will be the highlight.

"It's definitely a cool feeling," Jamie remarked. "He was always one step ahead of me."

Not anymore.

– Mike Eidelbes

Author's note: Follow this link to CCHA.com to read Troy's thoughts on the weekend series.

About Us | Advertiser Info | Site Map | Privacy Policy
© 2002, 2003 Inside College Hockey, Inc., All Rights Reserved