Brothers Ryan and Sean Vinson usually know what the other one is thinking, and being on the ice is no exception.
“Hockey is something that we share,” Sean Vinson said. “We’ve been playing together for so long that we know what each other is going to do. Everything is already played out in my mind what [Ryan] is going to do in a game.”
Sean and Ryan Vinson have been playing collegiate hockey for the South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference for the past two years.
While the brothers look like they could be twins, they are 16 months apart. Sean is the starting goalie for the Alabama Frozen Tide, while Ryan plays defense.
Ryan said he has played mostly defense since he started playing the game. Sean made the switch from forward to goalie after watching other netminders growing up, citing Martin Brodeur as one of his favorite athletes.
“I like being in pressure situations with everything relying on you,” Sean Vinson said. “I’ve really enjoyed being a goalie ever since.”
The brothers fell in love with the sport around 1995 when Ryan saw his first hockey game in Dayton, Ohio. From then on, their father would take them to local hockey games in Pensacola, Fl. They said they eventually tried out for the local youth hockey team.
Growing up in Florida wasn’t exactly easy for the brothers because hockey isn’t a huge part of most Floridians’ everyday lives.
“Where we lived in Pensacola, it’s definitely hard to play hockey,” Ryan Vinson said. “We had to play for other cities a lot.”
Both brothers agreed that they don’t know what they would be doing if the other hadn’t chosen to play hockey.
“We always played together, so if one of us had quit playing, I don’t know how it would have affected us,” Sean Vinson said.
Sean said he would like to continue playing hockey after college, maybe in Pensacola at the Southern Professional Hockey League level.
Ryan said he’d love to continue to play hockey as well, but he’s not sure about what things will be like after college.
“It’d be nice to play for the Pensacola Ice Flyers and my hometown, but I need to start looking for a job after college,” Ryan Vinson said.
The brothers agreed family is very important to them. They said both that their parents are very supportive and drive to all of the team’s home games from Florida.
“They’re devoted,” Ryan Vinson said. “We don’t thank our parents enough.”
Both brothers said they are looking forward to the rest of the season this year with the Frozen Tide.
“We have a chance to really do something this year,” Sean Vinson said.