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Franklin Park's Hubert brothers' sibling rivalry plays out in hockey

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
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Brothers Joe (left), Jake and Marty Hubert of Franklin Park share a love of hockey. Jake Hubert, a former captain of North Allegheny's hockey team, now plays for the Virginia Tech Hokies. The other brothers currently play for North Allegheny.
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Former North Allegheny hockey player Jake Hubert of Franklin Park plays for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
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Marty Hubert of Franklin Park carries the puck for North Allegheny.
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Joe Hubert of Franklin Park plays goalie for the 16U Esmark Stars, a team iin a youth league. He also plays backup goalie for the North Allegheny varsity hockey team.

Jake, Marty and Joe Hubert's sibling rivalry reaches its peak on the ice.

All hockey players, the Hubert brothers of Franklin Park always have tried to one up each other in one-on-one bouts, shootouts and hard work for most of their lives.

“Of course, it gets physical between us because we all want to show each other up and be the best out of the three,” Marty Hubert, 18, said.

However, if one thinks he's the best player, he isn't talking.

“It's tough to decide who is the best because we're all totally different players,” Joe Hubert, 16, said.

Jake Hubert, a 20-year old gritty forward for Virginia Tech, was North Allegheny's captain just two years ago. When he's not fighting for a puck in the corner or killing penalties for the Hokies, he's creating traffic in front of the net and trying to score dirty goals.

Marty Hubert, a senior and captain for North Allegheny, leads the Tigers this year with nine goals and 14 points, a year after the team won the Penguins Cup and state championship.

And Joe Hubert, North Allegheny's backup goalie as a sophomore, was undefeated with a .911 save percentage through his first three varsity starts. He also is the starting goalie on the Esmark Stars 16U team.

“They probably progressed more quickly by playing with me and my friends because they had to play up to a higher level of competitiveness with older players,” Jake Hubert said about his brothers. “That forced them to work hard, and I think that's what we want out of each other more than anything.”

The Hubert brothers also attribute their success to the support their parents, Maureen and Dan, gave them.

“There's a lot to hockey from the odor to the expenses of the equipment, and it's a massive time commitment,” Jake Hubert said. “My parents have dealt with it. They've invested so much into it and sacrificed so much, and we're thankful for that.”

Maureen and Dan Hubert, each 51, have spent more weekends taking their sons to play in games and tournaments across the country and in Canada than at home over the last decade.

“The travel gets a little nutty, but I think that because we started at such a young age, you somehow get into a routine that works, and you come to grips that weekends belong to hockey,” Maureen Hubert said.

Jake Hubert took to the sport first and started playing organized hockey with the North Pittsburgh Wildcats when he was 6.

“When I asked what he wanted to do, he said, ‘Hockey,' and he was determined to play full steam ahead,” his father said.

The younger brothers looked up to the eldest and also took up hockey. While Marty Hubert emulated his older brother as a skater, they used their younger brother as a goalie.

“When we'd play hockey in the driveway, they'd strap me up, and that got me into playing goalie,” Joe Hubert said. “Since then, I've always wanted to keep the puck out of the net, and also, seeing them have success just makes me want to be that much better.”

With the eldest brother home from college, the three are competing with each other again in their driveway and street. It might not be long until they have to compete for more than just bragging rights because Marty Hubert wants to play hockey at West Virginia.

The Mountaineers and Hokies play each other at least once a year, and if the Huberts have it their way, they'll square off against each other.

“I would want nothing more than that,” Marty Hubert said.

Sean Annarelli is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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