Adrian Holesinsky played in 17 games for the University of Maine men’s hockey team. He never scored a goal or picked up an assist.
But the native of Cadca, Slovakia, returned to his home country and rediscovered his game, and will be representing his country at the Winter Olympics in Beijing beginning this week.
Holesinsky, a right wing-center, has spent the last two seasons with HK Nitra in the Slovak Extraliga, the top professional league in Slovakia. The 25-year-old right wing-center had 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 30 games for HK Nitra this season and will come into the Olympics on a hot streak with five goals and six assists over his last five games.
Olympic spots opened up for hockey players across the globe when the National Hockey League decided not to send its players to the Olympics due to the rescheduling of games caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When Holesinsky was at UMaine, he appeared in eight games in the 2017-18 season, seven in 2018-19 and just two in 2019-20.
Former UMaine associate head coach and current ECHL Maine Mariners head coach Ben Guite said he was “super thrilled” for Holesinsky.
“He came in as a freshman and got hurt and then he had to deal with something difficult back home that affected him. It was a tough year for him on a personal level. So he never got his feet under him and he fell behind,” Guite said.
“But there was never a day that he didn’t show up and work his butt off and he always had a positive attitude. … He has a lot to be proud of,” Guite added.
Holesinsky will be playing for longtime NHL player Craig Ramsay, who went on to coach three NHL teams (Buffalo, Philadelphia, Atlanta).
There will also be five current or former UMaine women’s hockey players going to the Olympics including his longtime girlfriend at UMaine, Tereza Vanisova, the program’s all-time leading scorer from the Czech Republic.
Vendula Pribylova will also be representing the Czech Republic while Amalie Andersen and Michelle Weis will be playing for Denmark and Rahel Enzler will be on the Swiss team.
Andersen and Enzler are on the current UMaine team.