Hello, My Name Is: The Napravnik Twins
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Brotherly love in hockey usually comes on the same uniform, but on Dec. 9 for the Napravnik twins who hail from the Czech Republic, the opposite held true.
In the Marathon Cup, Adam and Ondrej Napravnik played against each other for the first time ever. Adam was wearing a Wausau West jersey and Ondrej was in a Mosinee sweater.
“Honestly, I was trying extra hard because it was him. It was just cool to be standing next to my brother on a different team,” Adam said.
The two were side-by-side on the ice, something they are familiar with. They are foreign exchange students from the Czech Republic. The love of hockey was instilled in them by their father.
“It was good because we were traveling a lot in Czech. I always had someone to travel with,” Ondrej said.
Competition with each other was all they knew. Playing one-on-one often, Adam convincingly says, “I always beat him,” with a smile while Ondrej responds with, “no way.”
They both made the decision to play hockey in the United State separately. Because of restrictions of the program, they would have to be placed at separate schools. But little did they know, they were going to be placed just 20 minutes apart.
“Mom was especially was pretty happy that we’re going to be close to each other. If something happens, the other guy is going to be pretty close to him,” Adam said.
On Thursday, they were inches from each other. The only difference was they weren’t traveling to the rink with each other, but there was still plenty of time for conversation.
“When I was next to him in a faceoff, I was talking to him in Czech like, ‘hey, how’s it going,’ Adam said.
That included one moment in the middle of the play when Adam complained to Ondrej about how tired he was from a long shift.
“My only wish was that he didn’t score. That was my only thing that I didn’t want to happen,” Ondrej said.
Neither scored, but Adam and the Warriors took home the victory on a last-second goal.
Though Adam will forever be 1-0 against Ondrej, it’s the memory on the ice that will last a lifetime for the pair.
“The chatting and stuff like that. It wasn’t like a normal game, it was something special,” Ondrej said.
“I’ll probably remember it for the rest of my days, you know. I’m pretty happy I got to experience that,” Adam added.
Adam says he’ll still remind Ondrej of his record against him “every chance I get.”
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