By Peter RoumeliotisSpecial to ECHL.com
Twin brothers Tyson and Tylor Spink of the Toledo Walleye have been lucky enough to play on the same hockey teams at the junior level, in college, and now, in the ECHL. These experiences have given the brothers from Williamstown, Ontario the chance to grow their games, while growing up, together.
“We started playing together so young, ” Tyson says. “All throughout minor hockey we were fortunate enough to play on the same team and same line; it’s something we took for granted and never thought about until later in our careers.”
The brothers began their junior career together in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) playing for the Cornwall Colts, and later, opted to play college hockey together at Colgate University. The twins believe their skill levels, drive, and passion for the game are equivalent, which has helped them progress as a “package deal.”
“Growing up, our level of play was kind of equal so that was a huge bonus in terms of moving forward together,” Tylor admits. “We were blessed to have the same skill level and the same drive for hockey.”
This season, their first full year of professional hockey, both have solidified themselves as major offensive forces. Tyson has 33 goals and 72 points, and Tylor has 72 points as well. Tyson’s 33 goals lead ECHL rookies and is tied for fifth overall in the league. The rookie didn’t waste any time making a name for himself in that category, starting off the season with 4 goals (including the game winning goal in overtime) in Toledo’s 6-5 win over Brampton in the Walleye home opener on October 22.
The question the Spinks constantly face is whether they will ever go their separate ways. “We get this question a lot,” Tyson confirms. “We want to stick together as much as possible but we know it’s a business.”
“There comes a time where professional hockey is not all roses and players get traded,” explains Tylor. “If there’s a chance for one of us to get traded in a situation where it allows us to move up with our development, then it’s something we wouldn’t be against despite wanting to stay together.”
The Spinks are eager to continue their professional careers and hope that the success of their rookie seasons will continue. They are quick to credit the Walleye organization for being supportive and helping them succeed as professionals. "This organization is run top-notch" Tylor says. "We are treated very well off and on the ice and our fans are unbelievable. I have had a chance to play a few games in the AHL and there have been games here in Toledo where the atmosphere was unbelievable and probably even better than some of the AHL games I've played in."
Tyson and Tylor Spink have already come a long way together, and professional hockey is a journey the brothers hope to continue on together. As Tyson says, "We have always made it our goal to play the highest level possible and if we can do that together I think that is a bonus because I think we are better together ."