Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography
The final score of the Northeast Generals win over Danbury tonight was 6-2. That is not indicative of this game in terms of time of possession. While shots on goal are not a perfect indicator either, tonight they serve as a good indicator of time of puck control. The Generals gave up 54 shots on net, their opponent, the Jr. Hat Tricks, conceded 29 of them.
The first reason why the Generals won this game is Carson Limesand, their starting netminder.
Again, he made the tough saves look routine, and had a smoothness to his game tonight.
Head Coach Bryan Erikson had the following to say about how well Limesand could play after these first two games.
“Your guess is as good as mine. It’s 2 games so I don’t want to overreact just like I wouldn’t want to if he hadn’t played well. Danbury didn’t get a lot of puck luck the last 2 days. But Carson has had a good transition from high school hockey. We look forward to him continuing to work with our goalie coach Steve Mastalerz and seeing him and Vameron continue to improve.”
As to two of the Generals leaders, Matt Boczar and Brent Keefer, Erikson had a lot of good things to say about his returners who started off the scoring. Both of these players have a lot to play for at the NAHL Showcase next week, as both do not have college hockey homes yet.
Erikson said ” It was great. Keefer had a big off-season and did Matt. That’s why they are both Captains. It helps that all of our captains have contributed early because it helps with the buy in from the rest of the guys. Both guys played with a lot of speed and confidence. Excited for both to have big years.”
On David Andreychuk’s two goals on the same shift in the second period, Erikson had more praise for another one of his leaders.
He said of his line with Paul Minnehan on his right wing, “They have been very good. They set the tone offensively and are great leaders on bench. They are all veteran junior hockey players and have great composure with the puck. They run our systems well. And David and Paul played a good amount together last year.”
One thing on defense Erikson did like was how well his team cleared rebounds in front of Limesand, coming off last year that was a point of emphasis as rebounds were how teams put home a fair amount of goals against the Generals down the stretch last season.
He said ” ne of the only things we have done well in the D zone has been not allowing second chance opportunities. We battle for position well and we do a drill to start every practice that puts an emphasis on that. They have done a great job with that and it’s allowed Carson to really only worry about the 1st save.” Going into the NAHL Showcase next week, Erikson knows his team has some points of emphasis in practice. The stage will be a big one for the Generals, with every Division One College expected to be in attendance along with NHL scouts and more descision makers in this great game, along with all 29 NAHL Teams.
Erikson said of the points of emphasis ” We need to clean up the breakout. We need to clean up having a good F3 and we need more practice reps with the Power Play. Just have to get the systems down better as I think if we play like we did in the d zone in Blaine we could be in real trouble. ”
Of the series, Erikson was conciliatory as Danbury escalated their play as the series went on, but had no points to show for it. This was a fate both teams knew all too well last season. Of the series Erikson said while noting the need for improvement in his team’s own defensive zone ” Danbury deserved better but we did a good job of burying our chances. Wins are hard in this league so we will gladly take the 4 points!”
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