Ben Holmstrom had never played a game against his younger brother Josh. He said on Thursday that he didn’t know if he should hug Josh or talk trash. Ben chose the former, waiting for Josh after the game and grabbing him in a big hug.
Josh signed a amateur tryout contract with Bridgeport after finishing his career at UMass Lowell, also Ben’s alma mater, on March 29. His pro debut was Saturday against his big brother.
“Tonight was mostly encouragement, but I’m sure if we meet a few more times it will start to deviate toward chirping,” Ben said. “For the first time, I wasn’t going to try to get in his head and mess with him too much.”
The Holmstroms had never played against each other. They lined up against each other for one faceoff, both a little jumpy. Josh said neither one wanted the other to get a leg up, calling it family bonding.
Ben was arguably at his most talkative speaking about his brother. He said it was great to have a front row seat, rather than just getting a text after.
Josh said it was exciting to start his pro career against his brother.
Ben agreed: "It was fun. It was something a little unique to get to be part of his first game.
"I just tried to give him some encouragement, it's always a little nerve-wracking when you're playing your first pro game. He got his feet wet and hopefully he gets his feet wet and starts to trend up."
Josh said Ben had a good balance of brotherly advice but not too much in that way no younger sibling appreciates. "He was big and he was able to give me a couple pointers but at the same time he's letting me do it on my own," Josh said. "He's been awesome."