Postcard: Band of brothers
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
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
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
"It's definitely a cool feeling," Jamie
remarked. "He was always one step ahead of me."
this link to CCHA.com to read Troy's thoughts on the weekend