Valiantly, the Generals come up just short against Maryland 4-2: More on the effort

Photo Credit : Patrick Garriepy Photography

The Northeast Generals, despite being out of the playoff race, still had a lot to play for tonight against the Maryland Black Bears. Despite the 4-2 final stat line in the regulation loss, the team showed cohesion, and were an interesting call away from having a 3-3 tie heading into overtime against Maryland. There was a lot of good for this group that came in this game, as they dealt with adversity on two interesting calls, and still found a way to fight until the very end, losing 4-2 because of a late empty net power play goal they conceded.

That interesting call came late in the third period. The Generals appeared to have the equalizer, but the crew lead by referee Jake Muzik blew the play dead for potentially incidental contact. The ensuing faceoff was held in the offensive zone, not in the neutral zone where it should have been if incidental contact was the issue. After the officials went to discuss things, they upheld waving the goal off. Hannes Kollen, Maryland’s netminder was contacted, but Head Coach Bryan Erikson contends that happened after the puck cross the line, and is pretty upset at the crew of Muzik for this, and an incident where at the end of the first period, Hugo Haas, Northeast’s netminder was interfered with, no penalty was assessed to the Black Bear who did it, but in retaliation, Alex Tertyshny got a roughing minor.

On the no goal Erikson said ” Ref wouldn’t talk to me to tell me why it wasn’t a goal. Puck clearly went in and clearly went in before any type of contact was made with him by our player that was high sticked in the face. Just a terrible call and a gutless move by the ref to not talk to me about it. I didn’t yell once the entire game at least show me and your profession a little respect.”

On the Haas incident that ended the first period, Erikson said ” Once again ref wouldn’t talk to me. So I’m assuming we are just allowed to run goalies unless we score then it’s no goal.”

Besides that, on the whole, the Generals played a sound game and pushed the pace of play. They were spurred on by captain Dylan Schuett’s goal in the first. He took a superb feed from Jake Dunlap and put the puck home to bring the Generals within one goal. As Erikson said of Dylan’s improvement since comfiting to Long Island University back in December ” He has relaxed a little bit and it’s freed up his offensive game. The kid is battling so many injuries it’s crazy what he has to do just to even suit up. But then to go out there and play well and score a great goal on a ridiculous play by Dunlap is great.” Of the goal’s impact Erikson added ” Dylan’s goal seemed to give us a little extra jump same as David’s did. We have struggled scoring lately so it was great to get on the board and to remember how to just laugh and have fun.”

Going into the season finale tomorrow night, two things stood out. First, when we asked Erikson for any good off ice memory from his class of 2000 birth year players playing their final game of junior hockey tomorrow night, he couldn’t saying instead ” I can’t single any one kid out. I put some much time into the 2000’s and in return I get the best gift. I get to be apart of their journeys. I get to share inside jokes, laugh at them, with them, laugh at myself. We have so much fun and I am just so proud and honored to say that I coach this special group of kids.”

He went on in his message to the Generals ahead of the finale ” Just enjoy this. Enjoy the meals, the jokes, the boys. Have fun. You will remember this group forever so let’s just regroup and leave it on the ice tomorrow so we don’t have any regrets.”

Finally, he noted something that has become emblematic of this group, and what he looks for from them, and every team he coaches on tomorrow night. He said, “we just came out with more focus on playing as a team rather than as individuals. And that is always our key to success. No one player is better than the team. And I expect the same tomorrow.”

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Northeast Generals lose 5-1 to Danbury: What comes next?

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

In a season marred by a pandemic, and a months long road trip resulting from said pandemic, Northeast Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson is honest about the last two games of the season, after his group lost a 5-1 result to close out their all to brief home season. He said ” Our boys won’t quit. They will play hard. Not always as hard or as smart as I want but they are great kids and I am very proud to be able to tell people that I get to Coach them.” Eriskon is ready to finish the season on the road against Maryland strong, and his group is already preparing for a season that will look a lot different for his team.

As he said in crediting Media Relations Director Alice Boushell and Marketing Director Matt Atherton ” Matt and Alice are truly the backbone of our organization. They do such an amazing job from meals, to hotels, to getting play by play guys etc. They are the best in the business and incredibly hard workers. We knew we weren’t going to play a lot of home games so we didn’t hire a full time broadcaster this year but that will be one task that they are excited to tackle. We just spent a ton of money to upgrade our broadcast for next year where we will have a 4 camera set-up with instant replay and graphic overlays that they are really excited about. I am too, game presentation matters, it gets fans watching but also scouts get a better view of our players.”

As for tonight, the shutout was averted as Jake Dunlap scored a power play goal in the third period to make it a 5-1 game. What did the Generals in was conceding, on two successive non even strength chances, a power play goal, and a shorthanded goal to the Hat Tricks in the first period before they could get going. In net, Jake Essensa did a lot to keep the Generals in the game, but the Jr. Hat Tricks did a lot of things right to get their five scores. For his debut game at the NAHL level, Essensa looked like he belongs, and also may get another look before the season ends. For the Maryland series to close the season out, it is not likely that any more players outside of the active roster will be seen. As Erikson said ” We toyed with the idea of playing Nick and Tyler Ramm who are 2 of our tenders from our U18 team but we also have to weigh being loyal to the guys that have been here all year. We rode with guys for a long time and I think we are going to do the same in Maryland.”

Josh Seeley made 49 saves for the Jr. Hat Tricks tonight .As Erikson said of his effort ” I thought Danbury’s goalie was outstanding. We had 4 wide open nets where we shot the puck and he came out of nowhere.” With that said, Erikson wanted to see more screens, and more taking away of the goaltender’s sight which did not happen enough to win a hockey game for the Generals tonight.

Beyond the season, the Top Prospects showcase awaits some Generals players. As Erikson said , he wants as many players on teams as possible. He added ” t all depends on how many we get in. Might only be 2. It’s going to be tough. Jonathan Young, Liam McCanney, Ricky Boysen and Tyler Cooper are all very good choices. They have all been great for our program and done what has been asked of them and more. I would love for all of them to get there but just not how it works. And if their is an NHL Top Prospects Team like there has been in the past I would love to see Paul Minnehan and Hugo get a shot in front on NHL scouts with other players in the same situation.”

Of Haas and helping Essensa tonight, Erikson added “Hugo is a great person. Always talks to Jake, gives him advice and asks questions. He was his biggest cheerleader today. It’s great to see. Just 2 young men that are great kids and great goalies who bounce things off of each other.”

Erikson coaches a team full of great humans, and this group has 120 more minutes on the ice in regulation to earn wins and visibility. For those looking for college commitments, this is their last chance to impress some folks with the group they have battled with for most of the season. For all of those leaving following the year, it is two more chances to close their book of junior hockey on a high note with a win. For those returning, two wins to end the season would mentally shorten the offseason for them, and add some positivity heading into camp next year. For all of them, this group that has fought together through a pandemic, it is a chance to show the league how far they have come, two more final tests to showcase what the Northeast Generals are to the world before the offseason begins, starting Thursday, May 13.

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1-0: More on Northeast’s overtime loss, and what’s next

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Tonight, despite an improved effort from the Northeast Generals, they came up on the short end of a 1-0 overtime loss to the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. Haas had a shutout until overtime, and came up on the short end of a goaltending duel despite playing with the consistency and effort that has helped steady the Northeast Generals in net throughtout this tumultuous season marred by a global pandemic.

On the evening , the Generals played well, despite not finding the back of the net. For most of the game, Head Coach Bryan Erikson said” I liked our effort in the first 50 minutes. I thought we did a good job controlling the game, controlling the forecheck and getting pucks in deep. We didn’t do a great job of getting traffic but credit to their goalie who played very well and earned the shut out.”

On Hugo’s effort he added “Hugo was amazing as usual. Didn’t get tested a lot but made big saves when he needed to. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t bury our chances to get him a shut out but those are the breaks.”

Tonight the Generals had a different lineup which featured Aidan Flynn. The forward has not gotten as many looks as some of his colleagues but did not disapoint tonight. Erikson said ” Flynn is the best. Just shows up everyday to work very hard. Does all the extra stuff. Very simple player that makes simple, smart plays. Loved the effort and compete level. Great kid who is a good piece for us next year.”

On the lineup changes, Erikson added ” Lineup changes are only dictated by the fact that we have 6 games in 8 days now 3 in 4 days. Need to get everybody in and try to keep guys fresh. Don’t want unnecessary injuries. Will be the same tomorrow. Will have a few guys out and the guys that were out back in.”

Going into tomorro night, Generals fans, and Bruins fans will get a glimpse of the future. Jake Essensa will get the start in net. He will be making his NAHL debut in net, and has experience around the goaltending position. His father, Bob, played over a decade in the NHL as a goaltender, and now is the goaltending coach for the Boston Bruins.

Erikson gave a good scouting report on Jake saying ” Jake will have to adjust to the speed of the game. He had an outstanding year for Eric Progen with our U18 team (Progen leads the Under 18 team, and is part of Erikson’s coaching staff) and practiced with the NA team all year. He knows the guys, the guys know him and respect him as a goalie. He just needs to get that first save and get the jitters out. He works so hard and is a very good goalie.” Look for the Generals to come out fast tomorrow. They generated some good looks tonight but could not get anything into the net. They have one more home game in a season full of tumult, and one destined to leave a mark not only for the veterans playing in their final junior hockey games, but for the returners like Flynn and Essensa, looking to build on the legacy of determination and persistence that has become a hallmark of of the class of Generals playing their final three games before moving onto college hockey.

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5-3: What happened in the Northeast Generals loss to New Jersey

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Tonight, the New Jersey Titans reminded the Northeast Generals why they are heading to the NAHL playoffs, putting up a 5-3 win with two third period goals to provide the final margin. The Titans made Hugo Haas make 43 saves in net for the Generals just to keep them in the game.

As Head Coach Bryan Erikson said of the Generals’ play tonight

” We didn’t get pucks deep, we didn’t finish hits, we didn’t block shots. It is very frustrating to lose playing like that” Erikson understands that losing games is a part of things, but wanted to see more effort from his group that despite being out of the playoff race, still has a lot to play for in their remaining games.

With that said, the line of Jake Dunlap and Dylan Schuett have done well for Erikson recently. Tonight both Schuett, and Dunlap potted goals in the final result. As Erikson said of Dunlap’s goa that it happened, “In tight he made a great play to put the puck up over the goalies shoulder but it started on a great cycle by Dylan down to Danny Paul who found Dunlap who did what he has been doing well lately and that is finding the back of the net.”

On the night and the season, Erikson took the time to thank Associate Head Coach Eric Progen saying, ” Eric has done a tremendous job. He works so hard. Does a ton of one on one video with the guys. He does extra skills and listens to them. Eric Progen is a tremendous Coach and we are very lucky to have him. I am very fortunate to have him not only as a co-worker but as a friend. Great guy that does a great job.”

Erikson did take time to note how good Jacob Kaminski played on defense for his team tonight. He said ” Jacob Kaminski from our NA3 team had his first game at the NAHL level. I though JK (nickname) did a great job today. Took the body, made some nice passes, showed some good D zone awareness that he will hopefully build on the next few games into the offseason.”

The team faces Danbury on Monday, and has a challenge ahead. As Erikson says ” They are physical. They play hard, finish hits. We can’t play lazy against them or we will get blown out of the building. But it’s our last 2 home games together as a team so it would be nice for the boys to show up for each other and battle to the final buzzer.”

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Playing for each other: The Generals earn 4-3 win

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Tonight, the Northeast Generals played a game that looked similar to some of their recent ones. They had a third period lead and conceded an equalizing goal to their opponent, the New Jersey Titans.

What happened next was different. Future University of Massachusetts Minuteman Jake Dunlap made an inside move to get space and put home the game winner. The Generals then had to kill 120 seconds of power play time within the final 121 seconds of regulation to secure the win. Thanks to some shot blocks and the culmination of a superb evening in net from AIC commit, Hugo Haas, the Generals held and earned the win. They have only a few games remaining, and a team looking to send out their 2000 born players on a win streak, add to their resumes for college scholarship, and establish the roots to the culture next year’s group will begin to take hold in as well.

As Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson said of the night:

“It’s emotional. We are trying to win out. A little sloppy play by both teams but I thought our guys did a really good job staying in each moment. We talked about it all year and it was nice to see it in action. Hopefully it is something we can build on the rest of this year into next year. Just focusing on what we can control. The next shift, the next play.”

That mentality was a big part of Dunlap’s goal. As Erikson said of it:

“He used his legs to get to the middle of the ice and made a really nice play and scored a great goal. Great to see him use his speed to generate offense.”

On Haas’s play:

” I am running out of compliments for the kid. He is so good. Just so calm and does a great job every night. What else can you say about a kid that is the best goalie night in and night out?”

While the Generals had Dunlap get the game winner, the third goal was put home by Jonathan Young, a player in search of a home next year. He wired home a power play tally on a one-time shot from the right faceoff circle. Erikson said of his goal ” Young is a big time player that does big time things. Just a perfect example of what a D1 school will get when they take him. We have a few schools close and hopefully a game like this will push it over the top.”

Young has had interest from multiple schools in Atlantic Hockey.

As for tomorrow’s series finale against the Titans, Erikson is up front about needed things to build on, saying ” Improve tomorrow on our transition and just simplifying the game. We made the game way too complicated.”

Another chance for this group to burnish their legacy, and help their veterans like Young find college homes comes tomorrow night at 7:30 PM eastern.

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Generals continue to reload defense with tender of Douglas Friberg

The Northeast Generals are slowly building their team for the 2021-2022 season through a consistent recruiting campaign. That campaign has taken them overseas to Sweden, where today they announced the tender of Douglas Friberg for next season. The 2002 birth year, right shot defender brings his six-foot-three frame to Attleboro and will slot into top four time right away, helping to make up for the loss of veteran Alexander Tertyshny providing a presence right away.

As General Manager Matt Dibble said of what he and Head Coach Bryan Erikson think of Douglas ” Bryan and I both agreed that Douglas was a priority for us heading into next year. He is a player we both wanted and think can be a huge part of what we want to do here moving forward. We are confident in our current D-Core but the additions of Geary, Kaminski, Sulonen, and now Friberg give us stability all the way through. Douglas is a big player who can compete on the walls/in front of the net and play very good defense. We are really excited about what he can bring offensively with his skating ability and vision moving up the ice and distributing pucks. He has shown a natural ability to get pucks through tight areas and on net as well. Bryan and I are both stoked about having Douglas join us next year, we feel he adds to an already competitive blue line and have big expectations for him.”

His profile is one of a sound two way defender with the ability to chip in on the offensive side of the game. He profiles as a potential late round NHL draft pick for a team willing to let him develop at his own pace. Regardless, if he can add to the Generals what Dibble and Erikson both see in him, he will soon have plenty of college offers to think about for future years. For now, he will come to America, and hopefully play nearly double the games that he ever has in one season in Sweden, and show the rest of the NAHL what Dibble and Erikson see in him.

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Dominick Procopio: One must imagine him happy

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Dominick Procopio has one of the most refined views on life and hockey that we have seen. The defenseman who just transferred to Alabama Huntsville is coming to study English, and pursue a Masters Degree at Huntsville in Literature. The reasoning behind that goes to his love for existentialist philosopher Albert Camus. Camus said in the myth of the Greek Legend Sisyphus, forever cursed to push a boulder up a hill for it to roll back down and start over the the next day ” one must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Kamus comes to this conclusion, arguably because to perform a task, repetitively, he concludes that Sisyphus must enjoy what he is doing. That quote is Dominick’s favorite, and one we kept jumping back to discussing as we talked about his choice to come to Huntsville. He does so with nothing but thanks and gratitude to everyone in Lowell, and the staff there was helpful in coordinating whatever he needed in his journey to Huntsville.

He comes to Alabama Huntsville from Umass-Lowell. His relationship with the Huntsville staff centers around his time being coached by current Associate Head Coach Karlis Zirnis. He coached him when Procopio pushed his Shreveport team to a Robertson Cup. That moment so far has been the highlight of his hockey career. Since coming to Lowell, in his three seasons there, the stay at home defender has played more than 10 games in a season once. His box score numbers do not account for the kind of player he is. As he said,” I’m not flashy but I am effective.” He is bringing a game that should fit well with the current group of defenders. Karlis taught him to focus on being himself, noting that there are a lot of ways to be effective on the back end. As Dominick said that he has learned from Karlis ” you don’t have to be Erik Karlsson to be effective.”

Dominick wants to model his game after Mark Giordano. That is, he wants to be the responsible player who knows how to add offense in bursts when able. As he put it of what fans of the Chargers should expect from him both on and off the ice,” I am going to be unapologetically myself.” On and off the ice, Dominick wants to be involved with teaching. He values all of his professors, and teachers, past, present and future. Getting a Master’s Degree in Literature from Alabama Huntsville would allow him to have options. When we asked about what he wanted to do when he was done playing hockey, he mentioned every option from coaching to being a tenure-track professor. In his time in hockey he has helped shape people’s minds and served as a servant-leader for the teams he has been a part of, Procopio looks to bring same mindset towards leading a college classroom one day.

He picked Huntsville because it looked like the program that provides the best fit for him to play. He did tell Karlis when he comitted, ” you have to let me fail.” By that he means letting him get consistent looks and chances to develop chemistry with a defense partner and play. Procopio is thankful for his time at Lowell, and actually received sound reviews of Lance West’s coaching style, and West himself from former Charger Josh Latta when making the tough decision to transfer. For the positives he is bringing to Huntsville from Lowell, he noted the superb culture of the team that he was a part of, that same culture allowed the River Hawks to go on a postseason run and finish one game short of the NCAA Tournament. As he said of Lowell’s culture, “if your car breaks down you can call anybody… and you can play two games and be respected like you have 40 goals.”

As he continues to push the boulder up the mountain, and works to improve his game and his grasp of existentialism on a daily basis. One thing is clear, in making the choice to come to Huntsville, Dominick has found a place where he can continue his academic career, while getting more chances to help his team push the boulder up the hill each day and improve, not just in practice, but in games. A lot of the growth in Alabama Huntsville this past season came from a new start during each week, from having the ability to delete the past and work harder to strive to a better future. Dominick plays his game around that same ideal, and will be a leader for Zirnis once again, and a leader for Alabama Huntsville, on the ice, in the practice room, in the classroom, in the community, and in so many other places. He is himself, and one does not have to look very far to imagine Dominick to be happy with his choice to transfer to Huntsville.

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Niagara University Men’s Hockey Head Coach Jason Lammers on his team’s Uncommon season, future, and more

Photo Credit: Niagara University Athletics

To operate a Division One program, you have to have some uncommon traits. One of those traits is realizing what your goal is, your primary goal in leading it. For Niagara Purple Eagles Head Coach Jason Lammers, the idea of being uncommon drives his program, and is how he operates. Lammers views leading a group in this way ” I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to teach the next generation about what it means to be a man.. we get a chance to influence more people in a year than most people do in a life time.. I’ve been blessed that I’ve never had a real job. To him, uncommon is the concept of being above average, and doing things that others are not. It is this mentality, combined with the small school atmosphere he enjoys being a part of building the success of his Purple Eagles. He leads a team that prides itself on effort, accountability, and its approachability. As Lammers said of the perception of the game on his campus, some people say to him that “I’d much rather come watch a college hockey game vs. a Sabres game because you guys play hard all the time. ”

That same effort helped a team beset by multiple Covid-19 pauses come together in the postseason to defeat Mercyhurst on the road in the opening round, then proceed to knock off Western Pod Champion of Atlantic Hockey, Robert Morris, in three games. Two of those games went to overtime. All of them were one goal affairs. Lammers is incredibly proud of how his group finished the year. He remembers of his group “just the unity and the love our team felt” where two driving forces in helping his group get to the final four of Atlantic Hockey where they forced AIC to earn a tough-fought comeback win. On the ice, he praised his netminder saying ” to have Chad Veltri back and ready to rock and roll.. I felt he was a huge difference in that series.”

At the end of the day, Lammers is honest about the goal of his program “Our mission is to grow men.. it certainly makes it easier if they’re good humans,”

To build his program, Lammers looks for those uncommon traits in his recruits. He values bringing in players from all over the world with the willingness to help others, be key players in the classroom, and able to be a part of the culture he has built. His team is one of the most academically astute in the league, and one that excels in helping others through their community service work.

The mantra for Lammers’ program on the ice is simple. He said that they want to be “regionally dominant and nationally prominent.” That comes from playing well in their conference, where in the past two seasons that we have had Conference Tournament Championships given out, his team has been in the final four. It also comes from playing the top teams around the country. That is part of the reason why his Purple Eagles will be flying to take on the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota in Grand Forks to open up their 2021-2022 campaign. Lammers credits the staff of the Fighting Hawks for working with him to schedule this series. Dialogue around it started shortly after Lammers was hired in the spring of 2017, that was initiated by North Dakota after Lammers came on as Head Coach.

This series is four years in the making, and one that will give another Atlantic Hockey team a chance to showcase themselves to the Men’s College Hockey landscape this fall. The Purple Eagles will get a financial guarantee for the series, and Lammers also noted that his administration is broadly more supportive of his group playing in more non conference games where possible in future seasons. Lammers, speaking only for himself is supportive of expanding Atlantic Hockey, and understands that the league needs to play better against other conferences. With that said, of the conference itself he added “I believe our conference gets the short end of the stick… I just think this league is really good.. I think there’s a partnership among the schools and a camaraderie among the coaches.”

Lammers also wants the game he coaches in to grow, noting the large amount of Division One talent out there. He said, broadly speaking of expansion that, ” I think there should be 100 teams.”

Lammers is incredibly proud of his group’s effort to finish given the fact that they only really had a few weeks of normal operations this season as the Purple Eagles had multiple Covid-19 induced pauses. As he said “The way that we finished with only having couple of weeks to practice and prepare … is pretty awesome.” While he is waiting to see the final composition of his roster, he is already working towards building to the fall.

He also took time to talk a little bit about the Battle of the Bridge between his school and Canisius, or as he said of the rivalry, “There’s a lot of people in town who don’t care about your record.. just that you beat the team south of the bridge.” While Lammers knows this rivalry is not Ohio State-Michigan, he sees its growth between the two area schools.

Going forward, Lammers accepts the new reality of the one time allowance of players to play right away under the new transfer rule leading to the ubiquity of it. As he said “we think its going to really help solidify our roster.” In addition, he expects the uncommon culture he is building to help him retain players as well. As he said “being uncommon is going to help us retain our student athletes.. we out love other programs.” Further understanding the positive impact of the portal, he said “its the world we are living in, student athletes have a lot more rights than they used to… its not going away, and we need to find out how we can use it to our benefit.”

The same positive outlook and uncommon desire to build a unique culture at Niagara is what will drive the Purple Eagles to the top of Atlantic Hockey. Lammers’ group has a big test to open up the 2021-2022 campaign against UND. The uncommon nature of everything Lammers teaches, and his staff does from recruiting to mentorship to preparation, and so much more will ensure his group is ready to produce an uncommon result against the Fighting Hawks.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

The Northeast Generals lose 4-2: What comes next?

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy- Patrick Garriepy Photography

Tonight, the Northeast Generals got out played by a Maine Nordiques group that is bound for the NAHL Playoffs in a few weeks. The Generals showed bursts in the game, but could not get the equalizer, and played hard, but left their Head Coach, Bryan Erikson wanting more. As he said ” We came out extremely flat which was very disappointing. I really thought we were going to build off of yesterday’s performance. But we were flat and they came out flying. Credit to them. They are a good team. And they didn’t give us room to breathe. Then I thought we battled back well but when you cheat the game as bad as we did in the first period I am not sure we deserve to win.”

With that said, there was a star for the Generals tonight, Hugo Haas. The Opava, Czech Republic native put up 38 saves and an assist on the evening to keep his team in the game. When asked about the AIC commit on the night, and why Haas deserves an NHL Draft selection, Erikson said ” Hugo is a stud. Just an absolute star. We are lucky we have him. Should have been down 5-0 after 1 at least but he kept us in it. And he got fired up in between periods and let the boys know they needed to play better. It’s one thing to be a great kid and goalie but also to show that type of leadership is special. An NHL team would get a person that will not be outworked, a mature young man, and of course an outstanding goalie.” There were some additional standouts tonight for Erikson, as he said ” I liked what we saw from 2021-22 tender Patrick Geary. He is an 04 and I thought he looked more and more comfortable as the game went on. He is going to be a standout for us next year. I also like Matt Sutter, another 04 D man. Very physical, smart gaps, smart passes. He is progressing so well. Very proud of the work he has put in.”

Going forward, Erikson is thankful for many things, including his General Manager Matt Dibble, who has shaped the second half renaissance of this group while setting it up for multiple seasons. As Bryan took the time to explain, also noting why Dibble deserves some Executive of the Year votes “Matt Dibble is a great person. He is a great friend but an even better GM. What he does that I love is he listens. Listens to what type of kid we want, what type of player we want. Not just going after the “best” kids, but the right one. The talent he brought in after the New Year are all 2 or 3 year guys that we could build around. But it wasn’t a case of throwing in the towel and building for next year it was about improving the current product while also keeping an eye on the future. And he has done that. The team got better, the guys he brought in have fit in great in the room. Matt is the best GM in the NAHL hands down. I think he should get votes of course. But I am just really excited that we have him and that he is doing such a tremendous job.” In addition to Dibble, Erikson has been thankful that he has had some fans back at the few home games the Generals have had saying ” It has been great to be in our building. Had a bunch of Attleboro youth players in the building tonight which made it fun. I love when we get fans. We were building a ton of community excitement last year and then the pandemic. We look forward to Matt Atherton and Alice Boushell having an entire off season to get our great town of Attleboro to want to come out to games now that it is getting safer.” Atheron and Boushell are two of the key presences in the front office that promote the Generals to the world, and they will now have a full summer to shine and showcase the Generals to get ticket buyers in the building next season.

For the rest of the season, the Generals have a lot to play for, and still have goals. As Erikson said, despite being out of the playoffs, and on moving past the game tonight, “Every game is a chance to improve. Every game is a chance to build on our identity, discipline and focus. Not just for next year but for this year. We have a bunch of 2000’s still trying to get their commitments and we want them to showcase themselves well. They have given a lot to this program and we want to give back by giving them an opportunity to showcase themselves the best they can… It’s one game. Our goal is now to win the last 6 games. We play 4 at home, 2 on the road all in a 8 day span. So let’s enjoy our last full week of practice together, have some fun, get better and get ready to finish off the year strongly.” If the Generals keep to what made them any sort of competitive for a playoff spot, they will help their organization and their players looking for college homes to both be in a better spot heading into the summer.

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NA3HL Northeast Generals rebuild the defense in 2021 NA3HL Draft: Read more about their picks and what’s next

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

This past week, the Northeast Generals turned the page from a very sucessful chapter in their history. The NA3HL team won their divisional playoff bracket to earn a spot in the final four of the league in the Fraser Cup. While the final result does not dim their accomplishment, it serves as a starting point to composing the 2021-2022 group looking to make it back to the Fraser Cup and to win it this time.

General Manager Cory Hunt took some time to talk about his role, the reason behind the two picks he had, and more. He first thanked Bryan Erikson and the Generals for working with him to help him rise up the ranks to be the General Manager of the NA3HL Generals. As he said of Bryan and his belief in him “Bryan has been a great mentor. Coming over from another NAHL & NA3HL team when the Generals announced their NAHL expansion team. Starting 5+ years ago with the NAHL team and eventually moving into the GM role with the NA3 team. I am  one of the biggest champions of the NA3 and what it stands for. He has seen that first hand with the NAHL team with me pushing Sato, Boudon, Gierman, etc., over the years. He has given me the opportunity to grow into this GM role and has put a lot of trust in me. I’m forever grateful of the opportunity. There is something really special here and I’m excited to see how it grows in the coming years.”

As for their two picks this year, defense was the theme. While the NA3HL group is set to lose veterans across its roster to other junior teams or to college, defense was the areas Hunt focused on with their two picks .Gunnar Arason and Lucas Bellig were the two selections. Arason is an Icelandic defender who played in Swedish junior hockey this year. As Hunt said, ” Arason is a player we seen last year playing for the A21 Academy. If not for the pandemic he could’ve been here this season. He is a big body and does everything well. We expect him to come in and make a big impact.” Hunt expects Gunnar to at least be a strong Division three player in two seasons, as he will be playing his last year of junior hockey in the 21-22 campaign.

As for Lucas Bellig, Hunt said ” Bellig I first noticed early in the season playing for North Iowa and continued to monitor when he went back to 18U. He is a smaller player, but so skilled and shifty. Skates well and makes very good decisions with the puck. I think he has a high ceiling and could be a candidate to get games with our NAHL club. Current General Gijs De Schepper played with him and had nothing but great things to say about him as well.”

The NA3HL group this season had a consistent defense corps that drove production and pushed play forward. These picks show the priority of that philosophy once again. As for the roster yet to be built, Hunt was honest and up front. ” For the NA3 team we will bring in 25 or so players. Our philosophy is to bring in the exact amount of players we need. We don’t have any interest bringing in 10-20 extra players only to cut them or trade them. That’s not how we operate.”

With that said, there are still openings in all three groups to join the NA3HL team in an organization dedicated to providing an environment for upward growth on and off the ice. As Hunt said ”

For the summer we will continue to look to finalize our roster with some high end players. We still have a few spots at all 3 positions we would like to shore up. We are looking for players that are committed to getting better and striving to play for our NA team and/or college hockey. Our goal is to win another division title and to finally raise the Fraser Cup. We have some summer opportunities for players to get a look. If players are interested they can contact me directly at cory@northeastgenerals.com

While the summer is just starting, Hunt and his staff are always scouting looking to find the next Generals. The team came together as one and stayed consistent in a turbulent season. The next step for this group is winning a championship, and the draft, combined with the recruiting of the summer will all be in that service.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts