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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service, Published October 09 2013

Pattyn brothers set to face off this weekend

GRAND FORKS – Stephane Pattyn is one of the University of North Dakota’s most talkative guys on the ice, but the junior forward may be a bit quiet this weekend.

“I don’t know if I could chirp my brother,” Pattyn said. “He’s my best friend.”

This weekend, brothers and best friends Stephane and Yvan Pattyn will be on opposite sides for the first time in their lives as the University of Vermont comes to town to take on UND in a two-game men’s hockey series.

Yvan is a sophomore defenseman for the Catamounts. Stephane is in his third year with UND.

About 100 family and friends are expected to make the trip down from Ste. Anne, Man., a small town about 40 minutes southeast of Winnipeg.

“So, like half the town,” said Stephane, who recently tracked down 20 tickets to go along with the 80 or so his mother, Denise, bought.

It will indeed be an event.

Some members of the traveling party played a hockey game in Manitoba on Wednesday night to start the festivities. They will begin arriving this morning in Grand Forks.

They’ve already made

T-shirts for everyone to wear to the game. And beware those of you staying at the Knights Inn this weekend: Most of the Pattyn crew will be there, too.

“It’s going to be an awesome weekend,” said Mitch Pattyn, the boys’ father. “The outcome won’t matter. It will be fun no matter what happens. I’ll probably have some mixed emotions. I’m going to cheer for every goal.”

If the parents have their way, the teams will split.

“And both boys will be plus-three or plus-four,” Mitch said with a laugh.

Growing up, the Pattyn brothers were teammates a couple of times, even though Stephane is two years older. In bantams, Yvan got called up to play with Stephane’s team for the provincial tournament. A couple years ago, they both played together with the Portage Terriers in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

The brothers went their separate ways for college, but they are still close. Stephane, who watched both of Yvan’s games last weekend on a webcast, said they’ve talked every day this week.

“We’ve talked about how fun and exciting it’s going to be,” Stephane said.

On Friday and Saturday night, they probably won’t place nice, though.

“I’m a very competitive person, so I don’t think my brother is going to stop me from doing what I have to do to win,” Stephane said. “If there’s a way to beat him, I’m going to do it, for sure.”

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald