Dylan Holloway (6-foot, 203 pounds), a freshman forward at the University of Wisconsin, will file a monthly diary this season for NHL.com leading up to the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal. The 18-year-old forward, an A-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, has four points (one goal, three assists) and 22 shots on goal in nine games. In his second entry, Holloway discusses his first month as a college hockey player and what makes teammate Cole Caufield such a prolific goal scorer.
Hello hockey fans.
We split our two games against Omaha last weekend, winning 5-2 on Nov. 8 and losing 5-2 the next day. What worked so well was we just got to the blue line, dumped it in and went to work. I think playing below the goal line and generating chances from there worked well for us. In the second game we didn't get the result we wanted, but I thought our possession game was good. I think we need to play a little harder and meaner defensively, and as a complete unit, in getting on pucks. When we get shots and bodies to the net, that's when we're at our best.
The first month of the season went well but we're 5-5 so it's not the record we wanted. I think we've learned a lot as a team, though. Personally I'd like to score more goals. I've only got one so far, so scoring more goals would be nice. I scored my first goal in an 11-5 win against Merrimack on Oct. 12. I just got the puck down low and Sean Dhooghe got behind the net and passed to Tarek Baker. Baker shot it and I just drove the net for a rebound and it was wide open, so it was king of a greasy goal, but I'll take it.
I did keep the puck. I think Sean grabbed it for me so that was cool.
Right now, freshman Cole Caufield (Montreal Canadiens) leads the team with eight goals. He can score from anywhere, and anytime he enters the offensive zone he's a scoring threat. When you're playing with him and don't have an option, you can always give it to Cole and things will happen.
I've also taken a lot from being around my roommate, Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings). Alex is tied for the team lead with Cole with 12 points. I watch the way Turcotte goes about his business on and off the ice, so learning from him has been beneficial. He's a super-skilled, high-end player so just watching him is great.
I know I'm winning about 49 percent of my face-offs right now, so I would like to probably bump that up a little bit. I'd like to get into the 65-70 percent range. It's a big difference taking face-offs this year as compared to last year in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The players are so much stronger, and guys bear down more.
I just have to figure out different strategies to win a face-off. If you can't win it clean, you have to think about going in there and tying up a stick, kicking it back or going in with a low stick and trying to get the puck and stick of the opponent at the same time. It's just a matter of bearing down and getting it done.
The team is super excited to get back at it this weekend against Notre Dame. We have a big opportunity here Friday and Saturday because Notre Dame is a high-end team coming into our barn. It'll be two big games for sure.
Well, that's it for this month. Thanks for reading.