After hearing for more than a decade that he looks like Joe Thornton, Victoria beer leaguer Ebin Campbell has embraced the role of dopplegänger.
On Saturday, Campbell and his girlfriend, Steph Pedneault, made the trip to Vancouver to see the San Jose Sharks play the Canucks at Rogers Arena. Campbell wore a Sharks jersey on loan from a buddy of Campbell’s who has a collection of hockey sweaters.
Pedneault insisted he wear the sweater and drew up the sign, “This guy looks like Joe Thornton.”
Campbell had an inkling he might get some attention but wasn’t expecting the response he got.
“As soon as we got there it was non-stop, people wanted to take photos with us,” Campbell said.
By mid-game a rinkside photo of Campbell and Pedneault was posted by the Sharks’ Twitter account and was shared dozens of times, drawing a lot of love from the hockeyverse. On Sunday Campbell was tracked down by NHL.com’s own show, NHL Now, for a brief interview which aired on Monday.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 18, 2018
“I’m just riding this wave, I’m surprised how much attention I’ve got,” said Campbell, a 35-year-old carpenter who plays once a week with the SMUS Blue Bucks, a group of SMUS teachers and friends. “I was first told I resembled Joe Thornton about 13 years ago. Since then I’ve been hearing it more and more. As we age we’re looking more and more like each other.”
Admittedly, both have shaggy beards, though Campbell’s is missing the shock of grey that is unique to Thornton’s popular beard.
Campbell was even asked for an autograph for the first time on Saturday by two kids about 8 and 10 years old but had to politely refuse.
“I’m expecting a healthy amount of chirps at hockey this week,” he said.