November 7, 2007

Devin Twins Come as Package Deal

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When freshman hockey players Mike and Joe Devin look at each other, it must be just like looking in a mirror. With a height difference of about an inch and a weight difference of a couple of pounds depending on whose eaten more recently, these fraternal twins from Scituate, Mass., are shockingly difficult to tell apart. With similar voices and the ability to complete each other’s sentences, it’s no wonder that when they were younger, they frequently fooled teachers, friends and teammates by pretending to be the other.
“The whole team is having trouble and the coaches mess us up sometimes,” Mike Devin said.
The Devin’s father, Chuck Devin, played hockey and introduced his two young sons to the ice when they were about three years old. While some sets of twins try to find their own identities by having different interest and hobbies, the Devin twins have always done everything together, especially hockey. Having played on the same teams their entire lives, the twins started looking at schools with their hearts set on playing for the same school as a package deal. Lucky for them, the Red has a longstanding tradition of having twins on the team, so the brothers knew they would fit right in.
“Some twins will play different sports and have different friends,” Mike said. “We’ve always been on the same team; we’ve always played the same sports together. We played lacrosse together and everything. It just worked out that we ended up going to the same college together. Even our parents wanted us to go together, too. They didn’t want to split us up.”
While the Red is familiar with having twins on the team together, that hasn’t made it any easier for the coaches and the players to tell the Devins apart on the ice. The only surefire way to tell the difference is that Joe wears number 22 and is a forward while Mike wears number two and is a defenseman. Back in the days of youth hockey, both brothers played offense, but, somewhere along the line, Mike slid back to defense. Now they both seemed to have found their niche.
“When we were younger, Mike used to be a forward, and then he just stopped scoring or something,” Joe said.
Since starting their freshman campaigns with the Red, both Devin brothers have already shown that with a little time and experience they will be big contributors to the team. In the season opener against RIT, Joe scored the Red’s only goal. Last Saturday, Mike proved the he can score by notching two goals in the Red’s 5-3 victory over Quinnipiac. This early show of talent is reminiscent of Cam and Chris Abbott ’06, who set the bar high for Cornell hockey twins.
“[The Abbott brothers] took us around and showed us the campus and everything and they were really nice to us,” Mike said. “The Abbotts are unbelievable players and hopefully we can live up to the expectations of the twin tradition here.”
The brothers agree that it is an advantage to have your brother on a team with you. Playing at different parts of the ice, the boys are able to help each other improve and support each other after big wins and tough losses. It’s no surprise that after years of having each other to fall back on, the Devins knew they would need each other as much as ever as Cornell hockey players.
“Mike as a defenseman, he kind of tells me what to do as a forward,” Joe said. “He just gives me pointers from a defenseman’s standpoint. It really helps you out a lot to get a different point of view.”
While Mike and Joe are clearly different in some ways, that won’t make it any easier for the average person to call them by the correct name. Even though they play the same sport, they like the same foods and the same music, there has to be some small way to know who’s who.
“People say I smile a lot more than Mike,” Joe said.