WATERFORD, MI – It appears Alex Holm’s adjustment period going from AAA hockey to the North American 3 Hockey League is over.
After recording just one goal over his first 11 games this season with the Metro Jets, Holm quadrupled his goal total with three last weekend as the Jets beat the Flint Jr. Generals and Battle Creek Jr. Revolution.
Holm, a 17-year-old West Bloomfield native, also finished with a plus-5 rating for the weekend.
According to Holm, it was only a matter of time before his offense started to click and the team started to gel.
“I feel that the season started off a little rough and we were playing our own style of hockey, but now we’re coming together as a team and listening to (head coach Jason) Cirone and getting the job done because our own ways of playing games doesn't work,” said Holm, who played in the North American Prospects Hockey League last season with the Detroit Falcons U-18 team. “The jump to the NA3 was pretty big, though. I had to adjust to the speed of the game and the physical play.”
Jets’ veteran Travis Hargett has been a big help in getting acclimated to junior hockey, said Holm.
“Hargett has showed me the ropes about all the rules and details the NA3 has,” Holm said. “Before this season, I knew that the Jets moved a lot of players on to play higher levels of hockey, so that was very appealing to me. I have also learned that Cirone is a very good coach. He knows his hockey and also has a very good hockey background and can teach me a lot on the ice and off the ice.”
Still, when asked what he most wants to accomplish this season, Holm strayed from personal numbers.
”I just want to make the playoffs,” said Holm. “Our long-term goal would be to take the Silver Cup. If we keep playing the way we did last weekend, we have the team that can match up against anyone in this league.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
The Jets’ offense busted out in a big way last weekend, beating Flint Saturday night at home 8-2 and then upending Battle Creek Sunday afternoon on the road by a 9-3 count.
Metro captain Matt Stirling and Andrew Palushaj each had a goal and four assists to lead new goalie Alex Nedeljkovic's 38 saves in net against Flint.
Nedeljkovic, a native of Parma, Ohio, started the season with the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers after being selected by Plymouth in the sixth round of the 2012 OHL draft out of the Belle Tire U-16 program.
Josh Hosking recorded a goal and two assists, Jeff Monfils two goals plus a helper and Mike Gambino and Doug Andrews each had a goal and an assist for the Jets.
Holm also scored in the win.
Against Battle Creek, Hargett recorded a hat trick and Holm had two goals and two assists to lead Metro.
Gambino scored twice with an assist, while T.J. Krajewski tallied a goal and two helpers to help back Nedeljkovic's 25 saves between the pipes.
Palushaj also scored for the Jets to go along with two assists each from Monfils and Thomas Evans.
The Jets (7-8-0-0) are now off until playing Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 21) in Flint.
Late last week, the Jets released goaltender Luke DuBois and forward Ian Springfield.
DuBois went 1-1-0 this season with a 4.29 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage, while Springfield tallied two goals in 12 games.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Defenseman Vinnie Pietrangelo, who played for the Jets back in 2009-10 after being their top draft pick in the 2009 CSHL draft, is now in his junior season at Division III Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich.
Unfortunately, Pietrangelo fractured his collarbone in early September and not expected to return until January.
Another ex-Jet, forward Todd Knaus, is also playing for Finlandia, but is out with a knee injury.
Pietrangelo and Knaus were teammates at Traverse City West High School as well.