Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy Photography
On Friday night, the 2020-2021 Northeast Generals skated as a team for their final time in their regular season finale. While the result was not what Head Coach Bryan Erikson wanted, the night served as both a culmination of a year of turmoil and triumph, and a look ahead to the future of the Generals. The score of the finale was a 3-2 shootout win for the Maryland Black Bears. For Erikson, there was a lot to like about how the group battled adversity on the season
As he said recounting the tribulations of the season, first noting the numbers of the wide discrepancy in road vs home games. :
” 16 games at Home 44 games on road 31 road games in a row 4 of first 42 games at Home 8-4-4 at home Home game: November 12th – March 12 (4 months)
Those are crazy numbers. And we never had any discipline issues, kids never quit, they played hard almost every night. Just a special group that dealt with extraordinary circumstances much better than I would have when I was their age.”
One of the leaders of that special group, Alexander Tertyshny left his mark on the game, and has left his mark on the Generals that will resonate for years. He helped get the game to a shootout with a couple of key tie-ups of Black Bears players, and because Erikson let all of his 2000 birth year players (playing their final game in junior hockey) take a shot in the shootout, Tertyshny got the Generals back into it with a beautiful goal. As for the future of the Generals, Tertyshny partner, Matthew Sutter (Lake Superior State commit) is a 2004 birth year player, and has a few more years left with the team. Erikson praised Tertyshny for the night, and for his leadership in helping Sutter get better.
As Erikson said on Alex helping Sutter
“Sutter was our most improved player on the season. We let him fail and then succeed. Going through growing pains and then start to see the payoff. The kid is such a hard worker and it was great to see Alex take him under his wing and they both learned a lot from each other.”
On Tertyshny shootout marker, Bryan had a lot to say, noting
” He knew I was going to go with my 2000’s in the shootout. He knows my loyalty always will be to him and the guys that have battled for the Generals for multiple years… It was emotional for me and it was for him too. Just so happy for him that he got to go out as close to as his own terms as possible.”
Alex has improved in leaps and bounds since he came to Attleboro off the ice just as much as he has on it.
As Erikson noted ” He started to enjoy the game again. He came to us a little down on himself and his enjoyment of the game was not there. He realized you can have fun and get better at the same time.”
Going forward for Alexander, he has to only travel about 90 minutes to head to his college home, AIC, where he will have a chance to earn a lot of ice time on a pretty well-rounded group of defenders lead by Head Coach Eric Lang. Erikson is optimistic that Tertyshny can step in right away.
He added on Alex’s ability to play top six time, “I think he is [ready]. Needs to work on being more consistent shift to shift. He can be the best player on the ice and then disappear. I love him as a player and think with the discipline that Coach Lang instills Alex will be great for him.”
As for what comes next for the Generals, speaking Friday night after the game ended, the task for Erikson’s group this summer is in plain sight.
He said ” Improving our D and filling a few holes up front. We get to work starting tomorrow. Only advantage of not making the playoffs is we have more time to prepare for what we think and hope will be a dominant 21-22 season.”
In September, we will begin to see the work of the 2021-2022 Generals, a group that will be heavily influenced by the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that the 2020-2021 group just finished going through.
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