When it comes to Merritt Centennials hockey, two cousins from Michigan are trying to make it a family affair.

Following in the footsteps of former Centennials backstop Devin Kero, first cousins Cale Markham and Hunter Kero (Devin’s younger brother) attended the hockey camp this past long weekend along with 46 other forwards looking to make an impression.

“I think we got some speed and we definitely know our hockey,” Markham said, noting the two brought with them a “Michigan style” of hockey.

The two 17-year-olds are from the upper peninsula of the Great Lake State — just a stone’s throw from Thunder Bay, Ont. — and grew up playing hockey together.

This year, however, they’ve had to play against each other in their high school league.

Kero is from Hancock, Mich. and Markahm lives just across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Houghton, which is also home to Michigan Tech University, where the alumni Kero now tends goal for the Huskies.

If he was facing his brother in a shootout, Hunter said he’d try to fake him out.

“I’d come in, head fake, and he’s athletic, so I’d get him moving and try to tuck it five-hole on him,” Kero said.

“I’d probably go backhand, forehand, low blocker on him,” Markham said.

The two Americans aren’t just following in Devin’s footsteps as they’ve had multiple family members take up the game of hockey.

In fact, Kero’s older brother Tanner recently signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The signing gives the two cousins hope for their own futures in hockey.

“What he did was pretty exciting,” Kero said.

Markham was even sporting a Blackhawks hat at camp, although the team is admittedly one of his favourites.

“When I heard he was signing with them, it put a smile on my face because I like watching the Blackhawks,” Markham said.

Kero, however, was sporting a Penguins cap.

“I’m a Pittsburgh fan, but I guess I’ll have to start getting some apparel,” he said.