They are eternally tied on the Miami goal leaderboard, so it makes sense it would take some time for them to break a deadlock at the NHL level.
But on Thursday, after 40 days, Reilly Smith finally established a new record for NHL goals by a RedHawk in style.
On a penalty shot.
The Vegas left wing drew the call when he was slashed streaking unabated to the net, and he buried a wrister on Minnesota goalie Marc-Andre Fleury through the five hole, giving the Golden Knights a 4-1 lead.
That gave him 193 career NHL goals, surpassing Brian Savage’s record of 192.
Smith netted his 18th goal of the season on New Year’s Eve, tying Savage, but he had not found the net since.
That 13-game drought was his longest since early 2017.
Now in his 12th NHL season, Smith has recorded at least 15 goals eight times between Boston, Nashville and Vegas, where he’s spent the past six campaigns.
Smith turned pro in 2012 after three seasons in Oxford and still ranks No. 30 on the RedHawks’ all-time points list with 122.
Savage also logged 12 seasons in the NHL, largely with Montreal and Phoenix and briefly with St. Louis and Philadelphia in 1993-2006.
Savage, who played for MU from 1990 to 1993, is another of Miami’s 53-member 100-point club despite playing three years. His 37 goals his final season are the second-most ever recorded by a RedHawk.
And the ultimate similarity: Both scored 66 goals for Miami, tied for ninth-best all-time despite shortened collegiate careers.
Savage and Smith are also both from Ontario, although Smith grew up in the Greater Toronto Area while Savage’s family is from Sudbury, several hours north.
Two of Savage’s two sons, Ryan Savage and Red Savage, are currently key offensive contributors for the 2022-23 Miami team.
Red Savage, a sophomore and Detroit Red Wings draft pick, played for Team USA in the World Juniors this season and is 4-6-10. Senior Ryan Savage is 4-3-7.