They play the same position and they both wear the No. 27.
They also are brothers who will be squaring off Friday night for the third and final time during the regular season when Patrick Shea and the University of Maine entertain Neil Shea’s Northeastern University squad in an important Hockey East game.
Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at Alfond Arena in Orono.
Patrick Shea is a senior and his younger brother Neil Shea is a freshman. They are both right wingers.
Neil earned family bragging rights in November when the Huskies swept UMaine 5-2 and 3-2 at Matthews Arena in Boston. He scored his only goal to date, the tying goal, in the 3-2 triumph.
Patrick, who has four goals, including three game-winners, and three assists in 22 games this season, didn’t score in the series.
“It was the first time we had ever played against each other [in college],” said Patrick, who is more than two years older than Neil. “It was kind of fun but it was a little weird at first.
“But once you get into the game, it’s just another game,” he added.
Neil Shea, who has a goal and three assists in 23 games, said it was fun and weird at the same time.
“We’re competitive guys and we were playing for bragging rights,” Neil said.
The brothers are close. They grew up playing with and against each other in the basement, driveway and rink. They train and skate together in the summer.
“It was always competitive. It was fun,” said Patrick.
“We were together all the time,” said Neil, who acknowledged that sometimes their competitiveness would “get out of hand” to the chagrin of their parents.
Neil said that is natural among brothers.
“It made us who we are,” Patrick said.
“We talk a few times a week about hockey and personal stuff,” he added.
Neil said the talk almost every day, usually at night when they have some free time.
“It’s pretty cool,” Neil said. “He’s not only my brother, he’s one of my best friends.”
Patrick and the Shea’s older brother, Brandon, actually named Neil. He is named after their father.
“Our mother had picked out a name they weren’t fond of and they were like ‘No, go with dad’s name,” Neil said.
“We insisted on it,” Patrick said with a grin.
The Marshfield, Massachusetts, natives have different playing styles.
At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Neil is bigger and a great playmaker, Patrick said.
“He has elite hockey sense and the ability to find guys without looking at them. He has a lot of offensive talent that you’ll see the next three years,” he said.
Neil said Patrick, who is 5-11, 186 pounds, has more grit and plays a 200-foot game.
“He has good hands and skill. He has a good shot,” said Neil, who admits Patrick is a little stronger.
“But don’t tell him that,” Neil quipped.
They would have liked to have played together in college but decided to go their separate ways.
“To be on the same team would have been pretty cool. But I’m more of a homebody and I like being in downtown Boston. And I wanted to pave my own path,” Neil said.
Other family members will be on hand for Friday night’s game, during which the Shea’s will battle each other.
“It’s business. We’ll be enemies for a few hours,” Patrick said.
“But at the end of it, we’ll shake hands and be brothers again,” Neil said.