Thursday, November 5, 2015

Brotherly love the Gatenby way

Danny (left) and big brother Joe Gatenby
There have been many brother acts that have found themselves team-mates with the Kelowna Rockets over the years.

Gavin and Kiel McLeod would be a good example. How about Lucas and Evan Bloodoff? Josh and Jake Morrissey as early as last season perhaps?

This season, third year defenceman Joe Gatenby has been joined by his younger brother Danny on the Rockets blue line.

The 18 year-old, Joe, says it is nice to see his younger brother making his mark in the Western Hockey League.

"It is pretty special to have Danny around. We have always been best friends growing up, so it is pretty cool to have him on the team. He has worked really hard and it is great to see him get this opportunity."

Danny, who was listed by the Rockets while playing midget hockey with the Okanagan Rockets, admits it is nice to have his big brother around as he gets used to life in the Canadian Hockey League.

"It makes it a bit more comfortable. It is someone to go to and someone you can rely on", Danny added after a quick practice Thursday in Portland. "Joe can give me some tips and show me the ropes. Playing with him is pretty special".

While both brothers are defenceman with the Kelowna Rockets, that wasn't the case when Joe started his hockey career. The elder Gatenby was a right winger and often played spring hockey in Calgary on a line with Nick Merkley.

"We were pretty good together", Joe said with a chuckle. "I had to move to defence because I had Exertional Asthma and I couldn't catch my breath, so I found when I played defence I could catch my breath a little bit better. I eventually outgrew my asthma and I developed pretty well on defence so I stayed there".

Joe and Danny not only live with each other in Kelowna during the hockey season, but on this recent road trip to the U.S Division, the two brothers are rooming with one another.

"I have to let him know who is in charge in the hotel room.", Joe laughed. "I think I have ultimate control of the TV remote".
Danny just shrugs his shoulders. The 17 year-old blue liner doesn't care. Danny just wants to get better by watching his older brother Joe in crucial situations.

"The number one thing that comes to mind when I think about Joe is his work ethic and his heart. You watch him out there on the penalty killing unit and he is fearless and is never afraid to block shots. Joe is solid defensively and an amazing skater."

While Joe and Danny are enjoying playing together with the Kelowna Rockets this season, the goal for the Gatenby Brother's is to cross paths again, when they play professional hockey down the road.

For now though, Joe will have to enjoy the small pleasure of keeping Danny from taking the TV remote.

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