By Jon Brooks
Omaha Hockey’s Griffin and Tanner Ludtke are the subject of the season debut of “Inside the NCHC” (the conference’s online docuseries).
The brothers have garnered quite a bit of attention this season now that Tanner (a freshman) has joined Griffin (a sophomore) on the Maverick roster for the 2023-24 campaign.
There have been some notable siblings who have played for UNO since the program’s inaugural outing in the 1997-98 season.
The earliest to come to mind are Josh (one of the original Mavericks) and Bryce Lampman. The siblings (Josh was a forward; Bryce was a defenseman) never took the ice at the same time for Omaha (one season separated their tenures with UNO).
In that same era, Christian Graham (also an original Maverick) and his brother David played for UNO. Two seasons separated their tenures as Mavericks.
In recent years, we had the Megna brothers. Jayson (a forward) and Jaycob (a defenseman) played together for a single season (the 2011-12 season, before Jayson went pro).
We almost had another sibling pair during the “Dean Blais Era” with forwards Terry and Alex Broadhurst. Alex committed to the Mavericks, but never made it to Omaha. Terry left Omaha after his junior season to play professional hockey (eventually reuniting with his brother at the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL in 2013).
Having these familial bonds is a special thing to see in collegiate hockey.
On this week’s episode of the Mavpuckcast, Bridget and I discussed the lauded Buium brothers at Denver this season (Omaha fans will get to see Shai and Zeev Buium play when the Pioneers roll into Baxter Arena for the series on Jan. 19-20).
In the case of the Ludtkes (who hail from Lakeville, MN), they say their family is close (their parents have only missed a handful of their games over the years).
We happened to sit by a relative of Tanner and Griffin at the Desert Hockey Classic in Arizona two weeks ago, and the pride the family shares in the brothers’ accomplishments was evident during Omaha’s game against Arizona St. on Jan. 6.
The Ludtke brothers have also launched a special line of “Ludtke Bros.” merchandise — a portion of the sales benefits The Hope Center for Kids.
As watchers of this program, it will be interesting to see how the brothers do the rest of this season, and seasons ahead with Omaha. It is exciting to see them both sporting the crimson-and-black for UNO this season.
Watch “Inside the NCHC: The Ludtke Brothers” on the NCHC YouTube channel below: