Jonathan Houk broke out like a big hit on the music charts in October.
After a comparatively quiet September, October was Houkâ€™s month for the Northern Cyclones. He scored 10 points in his seven games, all from his defense position.
Six of those came in the last three games of the month and allowed a scoring streak to be carried into the first weekend of November.
â€œWhen I came to training camp, I was barely getting into the lineup. I busted by [rear] at the rink and now Iâ€™m on the top defensive pairing,â€ said Houk, a â€™92-born Richboro, Pa., resident. â€œIâ€™m getting more goals and assists now and helping my team out, which makes me feel better.â€
Houk, who has 12 points through 12 Atlantic Junior League games, joined the Cyclones from a few years with different junior teams in Philadelphia. From 2009 through 2011, he played for the Philadelphia Little Flyers Metropolitan and Atlantic Junior League teams.
In 2011-12, he joined the Philadelphia Revolutionâ€™s Empire Junior League team for a season in which he scored 39 points in 38 games.
After all these teams, though, he sees the Cyclones as the place he truly feels he belongs.
â€œThe atmosphere is very professional,â€ said Houk. â€œNew England is definitely the college hockey hotbed, and Iâ€™m looking to move on to college hockey after this year. I went to a couple tryouts, but this was what I found. Also, here, Iâ€™m two minutes away from my brother [who plays for the University of Massachusetts at Lowell].â€
Houk said heâ€™s been in contact with coaches at Plymouth (N.H.) State University and Norwich University (in Vermont). He and some teammates made a visit to PSU as well.
What will Houk bring to the college game?
â€œMy shotâ€™s my biggest asset. I always find a way to get it through. My puckhandling skills are also good,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m a physical presence [at 6-feet-3-inches, 215 pounds], but I donâ€™t use it as much as I should. My hockey sense is keen to that [college] level, but my foot speed and core strength need improvement.â€
With the Cyclones in fifth out of the 12-team league, Houk hopes for a better November after a 3-4 run in October.
â€œWe lost to teams we should have beaten,â€ said Houk. â€œOn the other hand, weâ€™re killing teams we should only be beating by a goal or two.â€