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Four brothers from Blaine all reach college hockey milestone: playing in the NCAA Frozen Four

The Brodzinski hockey legacy continues as Bryce Brodzinski prepares to play in the Frozen Four, an accomplishment his three older brothers have all also achieved.

BLAINE, Minn. — Around town, the Brodzinski name is synonymous with Blaine hockey. Jonny, Michael, Easton and Bryce have all carried on the hockey legacy started by their father, affectionately known as "Big Mike." 

"Almost this 20 year swarm of Brodzinskis that had this tidal wave on the Blaine program," former Blaine High School hockey coach and trainer, Chris Carroll, said. 

He's not wrong. 

Jonny, 29, the oldest of the bunch, paved the way for his younger brothers who all joined him in playing Division I college hockey. However, the house is divided. Jonny and Easton both played for St. Cloud State University, while Michael played for the University of Minnesota, and later watched his youngest brother Bryce pursue a similar path.

"I don't miss those games when the boys played each other," mom Kathy joked. 

The matriarch of the family was the boss at home. The boys credit Kathy for keeping their schedules in check and making sure they got to all their practices, games and tournaments. 

"If I took two of the kids, Mike took the other two. There was one year where I swear, him and I only saw each other maybe six times," Kathy said with a grin. "It was probably the best year of our marriage." 

Their grandparents were also a big help in managing four busy sports schedules. Big Mike wasn't just a chauffeur, he also coached the boys in hockey and baseball. 

"Mike coached his sons, but his coaching rubbed off on their friends and I think made them better players, too," Carroll said. 

Carroll says the years the Brodzinskis played in Blaine were filled with state tournament appearances. Although, Bryce might have a leg up on his brothers for being the only one to win the Mr. Hockey award. 

"My parents are from Blaine. They are two of the most humble, hard-working people I know," Bryce said. "They did a great job with my three older brothers and I just wanted to follow in their footsteps."

The Brodzinskis were also known for their hockey store. If they weren't meeting people at the rink, they were getting to know them by helping them out at the shop.

"I remember one time we couldn't find Bryce, and we found him napping on breezers in the backroom," Big Mike joked. 

Big Mike has a legacy of his own. He played for the U of M and St. Cloud State University alongside recognizable names, like Bob Motzko. He was also coached by the Herb Brooks in 1986. 

"That year went by like three weeks. It was awesome," Big Mike said. 

When it comes to reflecting on their community and why Blaine felt like the perfect place to raise their boys, Kathy said, "The people here are hard-working — and have grit." 

Bryce and the Gophers play Boston University at 4 p.m. on Thursday. KARE 11's Will Hall is in Tampa Bay and will have more coverage on-air and online. 

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