By Ross Forman
Nick Holmes, 29, a Chicago resident who is a teacher at DLS, is in his second season as the team’s head coach, his third season overall coaching.
The Meteors skate at Johnny’s Ice House East and West.
“The team bought into the systems (last season) and created a positive, hard-working culture that turned our season around. We ended our season in the semi-finals (of) the Hayes-Suburban Division,” Holmes said.
In 2016-2017, DLS won the Hayes-Suburban Division Championship, and the team was 14-9 last season.
Everyone with the Meteors is excited about the 2019-2020 season, especially with its 8-1 record.
“We are solid,” he said. “The new players quickly realized the positive and hard-working culture that our team demands on and off the ice, and I believe they all have gelled this season very well so far.”
The Meteors have only allowed 1 goal-against per games in their first 9 games, and they have recorded 3 shutouts already.
“Our strength is our chemistry,” Holmes said. “Our program has an amazing group of young men who have come together in a very short time period to push one another to become their very best. I am very proud of my team so far this season, on and off the ice.
“The team plays together and, through our first nine games, everyone has contributed offensively and defensively.”
Jake Tepper and Michael Zanin each have a team-leading 5 goals. Tepper also has 6 assists and is second on the team in points (11). Max Aleman leads with 13: 1 goal, 12 assists.
Senior captain Jack O’Leary has 1 goal, 5 assists. “Jack is extremely dedicated to his team and leads by example,” Holmes said.
Junior Joey Kulovitz (DLS) is the assistant captain.
“Everyone (has been) a surprise as we only got approval to combine late in the summer. I really could not single out one or two players as this combined team has really come together and (is) having fun playing hockey,” Holmes said.
The Meteors, with goalies Jason Bernstein and Grady Wilkins, finished October with back-to-back wins over Crown Point and Kankakee.
The Marist JV leads the Hayes-Suburban Division with its 10-1-0-1 record (21 points), followed by Lake Central (9-1, 18 points).
The Meteors have 16 points in 9 games, while Glenbard has 16 points in 10 games.
On The Bench With … Chicago South Meteors Head Coach Nick Holmes
Hardest Slapshot on Meteors: Issac Gonzalez
Most Accurate Shot: Alex Xie
Fastest Skater: Pat O’Leary
Best Playmaker: Jack Tepper
Players Who Could Be a Coach One Day: Jack O’Leary and Pat O’Leary
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for more than 15 years and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.