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Chris Murphy, Published February 18 2013

Uglem twins a dependable duo for Spuds

Moorhead - Tony Uglem doesn’t quite remember the four minutes of his life he was without his twin brother Nick, but he has his assumptions about the time apart.

“I’m sure it was awesome,” Tony said.

Outside of the four minutes Tony entered the world before Nick, the two have been inseparable. Whether it be in the classroom at Moorhead High School – where they admit to using their twin powers to confuse teachers – or on the ice where the two seniors have been on the same line since freshman year, Tony and Nick have become “the Uglems.”

“You have to find the little quirks that Nick and Tony have to tell them apart,” Moorhead coach Peter Cullen said. “I can tell. I’m not going to divulge my secrets, but I can tell the difference between them.”

Outside of Tony being a bit taller, with wider shoulders and some hair on his chin, he feels there’s a big difference.

“I’m the better hockey player, of course,” Tony said.

As for who would win in a fight?

“I think I win that one, too,” Tony said.

There’s one way to tell them apart. Ask the twins which one is better at something, and whoever claims to be is Tony.

Competition aside, Tony has the same answer for what’s the best and worst part about being a twin.

“You always have someone there,” Tony said.

For the past three seasons, Moorhead varsity hockey has had the Uglem twins in the box scores. Tony had 23 goals and 14 assists last season and has 16 goals and 19 assists this season for the Spuds. Nick isn’t far behind his brother with 11 goals and 20 assists last season and nine goals and 16 assists this season for the Spuds.

Just like everything about them, their hockey games are mirror images of one another.

“Their games are fairly similar,” Cullen said. “They are bigger boys, they like to hit and they go hard all the time. They both have an awkward style of skating to say the least. Somehow, way, shape or form they find a way to put points on the board.”

Nick and Tony have played hockey together since they were 4 years old and they can’t imagine playing or having a life alongside anyone else.

“After having all those years playing with each other, we have a feel for each other,” Tony said. “The goal is to have a junior team that wants both of us. It’d be weird to be without Tony. I don’t know what it would feel like.”

No argument from Nick.

“I don’t know what I’d do without Tony,” Nick said, staring at the wall of the Moorhead Sports Center, as if to be searching for an answer. “He’s always just been there. I couldn’t imagine doing anything without him.”

After coaching Tony and Nick’s brother Jake last year and the twins the last two seasons, Cullen and Moorhead hockey can’t imagine life without an Uglem.

“It’s sad to think about,” Cullen said. “You can’t replace those two. We are going to miss them as kids in the locker room and having fun with them on the ice. It’s been a privilege to coach them.”

The Uglems can’t imagine life without Spud hockey.

“It’s kind of crazy thinking Saturday (was our) last regular season home game,” Nick said. “It’s crazy how fast it went. All the seniors told us to cherish it because it goes by fast. Never really listened, and here I am.”

Moorhead (11-11-2) has the top seed for the Class 2A, Section 8 tournament and will host River Lakes today in an opening-round game. The Spuds have not finished with a record below .500 since the 1987-88 season.

The Uglems and the Spuds aren’t looking to just win one to make sure that streak continues. They want to continue their Spuds careers.

“It’s getting down to the end,” Tony said. “I don’t really know what to think of it right now. Hopefully, we just keep winning games and make it last as long as we can.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548