Guy Gadowsky said when a player is doing the little things right, the ‘hockey Gods’ tend to swoop in and help him out.
Lately, that’s what’s been happening to Taylor Holstrom, according to his coach.
The Penn State junior has been climbing the ranks in offensive statistics to currently place himself fourth behind point-leaders Casey Bailey, David Glen and Max Gardiner. He is tied in points with Connor Varley, with 12 (seven goals, five assists).
Holstrom has recorded a point in each of his last six games, including a game-winning goal Saturday against Michigan State.
The forward has also done certain things that don’t show up on the score sheet, like fore-checking, back checking and playing with more speed.
“…Often when players play like that the hockey Gods smile on them and I think that’s what’s happening to him,” Gadowsky said. “He’s just been doing so many little things right that he’s appeasing the hockey Gods and they’re going in at the best of times for him.”
As a member of Penn State’s American Collegiate Hockey Association club team last year, Holstrom collected 37 points (12 goals, 25 assists). He also played at Mercyhurst as a freshman, where he was named Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year and led the team with 24 assists and ranked third in points with 33.
Gadowsky said Holstrom’s work ethic hasn’t changed. He said he’s just become more consistent. He said he’s also getting pucks deep and changed his demeanor on the ice.
“I give him credit because he was snake-bit a little at the start of the year and there were a few instances where he had to get the puck deep and he didn’t or he took a bad penalty,” Gadowsky said.
Holstrom also faced a change in the beginning of the year — a position switch.
The Yorba Linda, Calif., native played on the wing at the start of the season, which he said felt a little foreign to him. He recently moved back to his familiar spot at center — a position he’s been playing his entire life — after Gadowsky recognized his greater potential there.
“I just know the position better,” Holstrom said. “…I was kind of hesitant to what I could and couldn’t do when I played wing. Center is just natural and I didn’t have to think about it, I just did it.”
Gadowsky has been pairing the center with wingers Gardiner and Bailey on a line recently, which seems to be clicking.
“The line’s just coming together now,” Holstrom said. “We’re establishing a fore-check, which is huge, and I think we’re all turning it on at the right times and we’re reaping the benefits.”