At the beginning of a new season, especially after your team did not make the playoffs, you want to start on the right foot. Tonight, the Northeast Generals did just that. They went on the road and earned a 3-1 win over the Danbury Junior Hat Tricks. Paul Minnehan put home a tough goal in the crease on a hard net front play, Jackson McCarthy got a goal off a defender’s leg and in, and Joe Schubert put home a turnaround wrister that was tough to stop. Carson Limesand made his debut in net for the Generals and did not look out of place. He played a calm game and often looked a step ahead of the shooters he was facing. He made the tough saves looked routine and only conceded a goal on a well placed slot deflection.
Head Coach Bryan Erikson noted that CJ Zezima and Landon Kolnik stood out in their debuts for generating chances and offense while being responsible with how the Generals wanted to play. Zezima comes to the Generals as a USPHL Premier Champion with the Charlotte Rush last year, and both forwards bring speed and energy to the group.
On the goals the Generals scored, Erikson had this to say
” Minnehan is a special player and finished a great play on a nice pass from Zezima. Jackson McCarthy had a monster summer and it was great to see him activate and get a great pass from Schubert who then busted up the ice to get to the net. Then finally a big scrum around the net where nobody quit on the play and Schubert was able to make a sweet turnaround shot for a goal.”
On Limesand’s play, Erikson noted how good he was, saying
“Carson Limesand was outstanding. Just a great debut. Really helped us settle down and keep some big mistakes from going in the net.”
One key turning point of this game came in the second period. Danbury scored their one salvo of the evening, and was pushing for a second before Joe Schubert put home the insurance marker on the night. That play was something the Generals wanted more of last year, and got it at a key moment in game one of this season. Erikson said of that marker and of the final ten minutes of the game :
“It’s huge. Last year we gave up a lot of leads so it was important for this team to make a new identity of becoming a team that bares down on plays. Joe was very good. And it was a huge goal. And in the last 10 minutes I thought we did a great job limiting their opportunities. [It was] a very good team win!”
Going forward, Erikson has said that he views the season in ten game segments. In this first one, the Generals have one more game to play against Danbury before preparing for the NAHL Showcase next week in Blaine where they play four games in four days against four teams from different divisions, the only time they play teams in the regular season outside of their division all year.
On the night, and getting ready for tomorrow, Erikson succinctly said:
“Well we played our lines the way we wanted them today which was a change. But I think guys realized how much faster they needed to make decisions. But the real test will be if they can do it back to back.”
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