For three years, Bailey Bram has been on her own, playing hockey and going to school a long way from home.
Little sister Shelby has been watching her big sister play on the internet from their home in St. Anne, Manitoba, while playing for a local team coached by her dad.
This year is different for both the Bram sisters, with Shelby joining Bailey on the Mercyhurst women’s ice hockey team. This year marks the first time in their careers that the Brams have been able to play on the same team.
Having Bailey on the team has helped Shelby in her transition into the world of Division 1 hockey.
“Ever since Bailey was a freshman, I would hear stories about the school and how much she loved everything, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps,” Shelby said.
Having already established her place on the team as one of the leaders and best players, Bailey offered a lot of experience to pass on to her sister.
“I think me being here helps her to learn things on the ice,” Bailey said. “It’s different though, because I feel like I have to be in big sister mode all the time, but I love her being here.”
Shelby welcomed the reunion with her sister and looked forward to finally playing with Bailey.
“It has been really fun to play with her and learn the ropes, but she also helps with my classes too,” Shelby said of Bailey. “Whenever I am down, she always knows how to pick me up.”
To add to the reunion, Coach Michael Sisti put the sisters on the same line.
“When I knew she was coming here, I secretly hoped to be on the same line,” Bailey admitted.
Despite being a few years apart in age, the sisters say there isn’t much of a sibling rivalry.
“We have been best friends since we were little, so it’s just fun to be here with her,” Bailey said.
So far, the transition has been smooth for both Brams.
Bailey currently leads the team in points, goals and assists and ranks fifth nationally in points. Shelby is currently fifth on the team in points, which is tied for the most among her freshman class.
The sisters have also won awards together. For the month of November, Bailey took home Conference Hockey America (CHA) player of the month honors, while Shelby won CHA rookie of the month.
Despite only a year to play together, with Bailey due to graduate in May, the Brams are making the most of their time together.
“Shelby is so new and brings a lot of excitement to the team, and she makes it a lot of fun to play with,” Bailey said.
Hopefully, the Bram-to-Bram connection can bring home another CHA Championship this year. They take to the ice with the rest of the Lakers Friday and Saturday against No. 4 Boston College.