Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography
If you have seen the Northeast Generals in their past three games, the result and how things played out rang remarkably similar. The team gets a two goal lead into the third period, concedes two to tie things up, and heads to overtime. In the extra frame in their past three, they are 2-1 as Ricky Boysen punctuated the evening with a scintilliating high slot back hand shot of of a spin-a-rama manuever worthy of the highlight reel.
As Head Coach Bryan Erikson said of the goal: “Nobody shoots the backhander anymore. Such a hard shot for a goalie to track. Just a great goal. But Ricky is such a big game player. He was out there because of that. It’s crazy he has 10 goals this year and 7 of them are game winning goals. Big time player making a big time play.”
Of where his team is, and what to build on down the stretch run, Erikson said ” I loved the effort. We have been battling. We are playing our best hockey now. A little late but we are focused on development. In our last 10 games we are 6-2-2. We want to build on that. We have played 11 home games and we are 7-2-2. It’s great. But need to build on it tomorrow.” While adding the good from tonight with that statement, Erikson was also honest about the needed improvement his team needs to make against the Maine Nordiques tomorrow night, saying that this was the “3rd game in a row we have given up a 2 goal lead. That can’t happen. We got away from playing simple hockey. Need to focus on the little stuff. Need to keep playing our game.”
As for some of the other goal scorers, Erikson was effusive in praise for what he saw again from University of Massachusetts commit Jake Dunlap saying “Jake Dunlap has gotten better every game. He is using his speed more effectively. Just explosive but also changing speeds to make his top speed more impactful. And he is playing a 200 foot game. Great on the PK, PP and in open ice. And he doesn’t take shifts off.” Dunlap’s ability to find the quiet area in a defense has been one of his biggest areas of development as the year has gone on, and his consistency on a team that has made a lot of roster moves this year has been a source of strength for the team.
Regarding Captain Dylan Schuett, the Long Island commit did not have to play. The Generals are out of the playoff race and he has a commitment to play for Brett Riley’s group next season. With that said, coming off an injury, he wanted to be in. His leadership was apparent, as Erikson said ” Dylan is the best. He has no reason to be playing. He has his commitment. He has proven he is a very good D1 player. But he is the Captain and you see why. He just adds energy to the team and the bench. Love him. Just a great kid, player and teammate. Leaders lead and that is what he does.”
Finally, he took the time to praise netminder Hugo Haas (AIC commit) and Kyle Schroder for their efforts. Erikson added “Hugo Haas was awesome. Made big saves and big plays with his stick as well leading the breakout. And Kyle Schroeder was an unsung player today. Worked really hard as usual, hits, forechecks, back checks. Never cheats the game.”
No matter where they are in the standings, Erikson does not change his philosophies as a coach. He does not coach to the scoreboard, and cares about developing his group both on and off the ice. Tomorrow night against Maine, his group full of returning players next year, and multiple uncomitted players looking to leave their best on the film to earn a college scholarship both have another chance to add to the growing tradition of Generals’ Hockey.
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