Two NHL opponents crossed the back side of Traverse City’s West Arena, stalking each other for a much-anticipated confrontation. As they closed within a few feet, the young men broke into broad smiles, immediately transforming into best buds from college.
2018 Beanpot champions Dylan Sikura and Nolan Stevens had just battled against each other for 60 minutes plus overtime in opposite NHL uniforms at the Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, but they were clearly friends, not foes. They hugged for five seconds, laughed, clapped backs, and then Dylan wiped his eyes. The poignant emotions generated by four years of mutual struggle and triumph at Northeastern trumped any ill will from the game.
“I spent four years playing with him and being his roommate,” said Stevens of Sikura. “It was surreal to see him in a Blackhawks uniform.”