Josh and Ben Holmstrom were teammates twice before joining the ECHL's Norfolk Admirals this season. The forwards played together for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers for parts of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Photo courtesy of the Holmstrom family
Professional hockey is a job in which you don’t know if or where you’ll be working this time next year.
So, forwards Ben and Josh Holmstrom knew to not pass up an opportunity to play together with the ECHL's Virgina-based Norfolk Admirals.
“It wasn’t a goal going into the summer, but it’s a nice benefit,” said Josh, a 6-0, 181-pound winger who is playing in his sixth full professional season. “It started during the summer when we were both looking for a place to play. (The Admirals) had a new owner and new coach, and I liked the situation there. The coach asked me about (Ben), so there was some interest.”
Ben also was excited to do some off-ice bonding with his brother.
“We can spend more time together with my fiancee and his wife,” said older brother Ben following a recent Admirals practice. “It’s pretty special. Not a lot of guys get that opportunity.”
The Holmstrom brothers got their first chance to play together during parts of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons for the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders).
“We were able to see them play together several times in Bridgeport and it was certainly special,” said father Kevin Holmstrom, who is the Jr. Tigers 18U AAA coach. “Mainly they played on the same line, which was even more unique. We have all been very fortunate through the game of hockey, and I know how much they appreciate playing the game with each other.
“As parents, we know how close they are and are very thankful for the opportunity they have," he added. "It’s unique and we couldn’t be happier for them!”
They also know to enjoy this opportunity.
“We have played in a lot of the same spots; junior hockey in Sioux Falls, Lowell, but (we were) never able to make anything match up timing-wise,” Ben said. “When Bridgeport happened, it was a lifetime goal. When the opportunity presented itself again in Norfolk, it was hard to turn down.”
Joe Paisley is a freelance writer specializing in sports, notably hockey. Follow Joe on Twitter at @Paisleyhockey.
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