Groot-deVries line finds success on ice

You could call them the Smithers equivalent of the Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Radim Vrbata lineup.

You could call them the Smithers equivalent of the Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Radim Vrbata lineup.

They’re generating scoring chances with solid passing, and have on-ice chemistry that only comes from having two brothers play on the same line.

Centreman Brendan deVries has skated alongside his brother Adam on the left and Randall Groot on the right in three of the five games the Smithers Steelheads have played so far.

Few teams have been able to shut them down.

All three players have found success on the ice with Brendan and Randall already netting their first hat tricks of the season.

“We just try and create space on the ice and just keeping moving, stay open and shoot lots and it’s been working,” said Randall.

“We’re all a little bit different players and we all play really good together.”

The forwards are also the top three goal scorers on the team; Randall and Brendan have six points a piece, while Adam has eight in just the three games they’ve played together.

In most cases, Brendan and Randall have been the triggermen, with Adam quietly keeping plays alive or winning battles along the board.

“I think we’ve just been moving the puck well and we’re all pretty smart players and on the same page,” said Adam.

Adam and Randall have played on the same line together for the past four seasons with a revolving door of centremen, but said they’ve had the most success playing with Brendan.

“We’ve always had a lot of chemistry with everyone we’ve played with. But Brendan is definitely the best player that we’ve got to play with and has made us that much better,” said Randall.

Adam agreed.

“Brendan is probably one of the more talented guys in the whole league and Randall and I are more the muckers. We try and get him the puck more than anything,” said Adam.

This is Adam’s first season playing alongside his younger brother.

“It’s a lot of fun, we never really played together until now,” he said.

According to head coach Tom DeVries, it’s a combination of talent and chemistry that has made the line so successful.

“Adam and Randall are pretty familiar with each other and Brendan comes in here and he’s a top notch player and he fits in just right,” said DeVries.

“Randall has a lot of grit and tenacity and Adam and Brendan bring a lot of skill. It’s just a good combination of three different kinds of hockey players that sometimes makes a good line.

“They’re exciting. It’s like watching a good line in hockey in the NHL, it’s just fun to watch,” he said.

The Steelheads’ next games are in Prince Rupert against the Rampage on Dec. 6 and 7.