Cindy Krebs was a nervous wreck watching her sons play hockey Friday night.
Her oldest son Dakota is a defenseman with the Tri-City Americans, while Peyton, a forward, is an affiliate player with the Kootenay Ice. The two brothers played against one another for the first time in a Western Hockey League game at the Toyota Center Friday.
The Americans went on to win 7-4 and neither brother had a point, which might have been a saving grace.
“That was the hardest game I have had to watch,” said Cindy Krebs, who made the trek from Okotoks, Alberta, to watch the game with her husband Greg, daughter Maddison and youngest son Drew, 13. “I didn’t want Dakota to get scored on, but I wanted Petyon to score — just not against Dakota.”
The Krebs will get more opportunities to watch Dakota, 17, and Peyton, 15, play against each other next season when Peyton is old enough to play a full season with the Ice. Kootenay and Tri-City play each other once per season.
“That will be nice,” Cindy said. “They never got to play on a team together or against each before because they were two years apart.”
To make it a full fledged Krebs night on the ice, Maddison Krebs, 19, sang both national anthems before the game. She has performed for the Calgary Stampede and with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, but Friday was her first time singing at a WHL game.
“It’s a night I’ll remember,” she said.
Maddison, a well-known country artist in Canada, left Saturday for Nashville to work on her third album.
“That was really cool,” Dakota said. “It was nice of the Ams to let her come and sing. And we got a picture of the three of us. That was a blast. It’s something we will always remember.”
With Peyton being an affiliate player, and limited to playing in five regular season games, he was happy that one of those games happened to be against Tri-City.
“It was something we were looking forward to as a family,” Dakota said. “It was quite the experience playing against him for the first time. It was a lot of fun.”
Peyton said he was nervous about the game, and disappointed that Kootenay did not get the win.
“He got the first win in the series, but there are many more to come,” Peyton said. “Hopefully next year we will get them.”
Dakota, in his second season with the Americans, is a prototypical stay-at-home defenseman. He has one goal and one assist to his credit this season, but he puts his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame to good use.
Dakota rode his brother into the boards Friday night, but drew the line at picking a fight. For one, Peyton has to wear a helmet with a full cage because of his age, and two, his mom would not approve.
“I saw him and it was my perfect chance to get a little something on him” Dakota said. “That’s something we will be talking about around the the dinner table tonight. My mom said if we fought, she’d be so mad.”
Peyton said he was fine with the play.
“He hit me enough to get me out of the play, but not hurt me,” Peyton said. “He’s a good defensive player and does the little things so well.”
With a long list of players on the injured list, the Ice brought Peyton up earlier in the week to help out. He had a goal and three assists Wednesday in a 6-3 win over Prince Albert, but he came up empty against the Americans.
The Ice selected Peyton with the first overall pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. Kootenay was drawn to the fact he scored 46 goals with 56 assists in 27 games with the Rocky Mountain Raiders bantam AAA team.
This season, he has 12 goals and 17 assists in 23 games with the UFA Bison midget AAA team.
“He’s definitely a dynamic player,” Dakota said. “I’m looking forward to see what he can do in this league next year. He is pretty awesome.”
At 5-11, 165 pounds, Peyton doesn’t have his brother’s size, but he has many other qualities.
“I’m a smaller guy, but I use my speed,” Peyton said. “I play as hard as I can. This was my fifth game, and I’m sill trying to get the nerves out. I just have to keep my head up.”
Peyton’s time will come, but for now, Dakota has the bragging rights.
Editor’s note: Peyton Krebs was drafted with the 17th pick of the 2019 NHL draft by the Las Vegas Golden Knights.