Photo Credit-Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography
Every coach we have interviewed has articulated a version of what Northeast Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson came right out and said tonight, of his general coaching philosophy.
“All of the blame should go to me and all the credit should go to the players.”
Tonight, there was plenty of credit to go around for all as Erikson’s group, the Northeast Generals look to be trending in the right direction. They earned a 5-1 win tonight over the Junior Hat Tricks of Danbury in a needed win to get back into the playoff hunt. AIC recruit Hugo Haas finished with 34 saves on 35 shots faced. He kept his group in the game, even making 16 saves in a sterling third period to secure the win. As Erikson said about Hugo’s play,” there’s the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings in the building and hopefully they like what they saw. “Haas was, as his head coach said ” in control” all night, and the only goal he conceded came on a net-front deflection on the power play. After that, the Junior Hat Tricks could not solve the Opava, Czech Republic native’s abilities in net.
As to the players in front of Haas, tonight’s result kind of dovetailed with Erikson, and his staff’s mission to help get players on their last year of junior hockey a commitment in the college ranks. The staff is currently working to get its scoring leader Jonathan Young a Division One scholarship, and is running the #CommitJYoug hashtag on Twitter to highlight his achievements. Tonight, he had his 14th goal of the campaign, and was plus two, as the Generals did not give up a goal at even strength. He plays a defensively responsible game, and brings some physical power to his game that will play well initially on a bottom six role next season at the next level. His path in junior hockey, including winning the Dineen Cup with the Islanders Hockey Club at the NCDC level of the USPHL, has been a long and winding one. His resolve to keep focusing, as Erikson likes to do ” on the next game.” is a reason why Young stands on the cusp of playing at the next level.
Multiple other uncommitted players scored tonight. Ricky Boysen put home his third goal in two games, and has steadily provided the Generals another two way presence that focuses on consistent development. The Generals had five different goal scorers tonight, and Boysen’s line was one of the more noticeable groups on the ice tonight.
Quietly, from the back end, Alexander Tertyshny put up two assists and played the brand of hockey AIC will soon see. He played an intelligent game, and helped Haas by leading his defense in limiting shot quality, if not the volume of them.
Going forward, Erikson credits the hire of Matt Dibble as the General Manager for the suceess of the Generals as of late. Dibble’s additions to the team, combined with the striaght forward philosophy of his group, and the buy in of the players for the recent sucess of the team. While they have a way to go in order to make the playoffs, Erikson sees the bigger picture. He runs a program built around good people. As Erikson said, his” focus is on us getting better everyday…. my job is to get kids to be really good college hockey players and really good people.. I want them to be impact people.”
The impact people in this program, that have finally had a home weekend after playing their last 32 games on the road, combined with its leadership are how this group will progress the rest of the season. If the Generals stick to what works for them, playing a relentless puck-hunting style of offense with a sound system on the back end, they still have time to make things interesting in their division. The next chance to do so comes on the road April 9 against the same Danbury team.