Ricky Boysen finds a home: More on his commitment to Trinity College

Photo Credit : Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Versatile, dependable, and consistent, if you asked Head Coach of the Northeast Generals Bryan Erikson to describe Rickey Boysen as a player, we bet those words have been used multiple times over his two years as a General. When the Generals needed a big hit, or play made, he was often the one to help lead the effort in providing those things.

Now, another 2000 born player for Erikson has found an NCAA home, as Boysen is off to the prestigious Division Three Trinity College Bantams to play for a group that has seen a lot of success in recent years. Boysen finished his time as a General with 29 points in 52 games, and brings an instant presence to the offensive and defensive zones for the Bantams.

As Erikson said of what Ricky’s commitment means, and the fit of Trinity for him, ” It’s an unbelievable fit. Ricky is a great kid and a very smart one. Trinity is an amazing school academically and hockey wise. He joins former General and one of his great friends in Gerry Marretta. Coach Matt Greason does an amazing job and I know that he is going to love Ricky. Ricky is such a great get for them. He does everything well. He can score BIG goals. He is great in the D zone, he hits, blocks shots and is tough as nails. I am really proud of Ricky. I’m jealous of Trinity because they will get him for 4 years. I only got 2. Going to miss him a lot.”

Boysen always can skate with any team he is on, and will have the chance to make his legacy known with the Bantams in short order. He will have four years to leave the Bantams in an even better spot than the program already is, having multiple conference championships in the past six seasons, and always fielding a competitive roster. For Erikson, the impression Boysen left in Attleboro will not soon be forgotten, and as a player, Erikson is always looking for more like him.

That is, he always wants players that want to work, improve, enjoy the game, are good humans, and like to learn from mistakes and get better every single day. That is what it takes to play for him, and those same traits will serve Boysen well in Trinity College, the professional game, and in any job Boysen takes whenever his hockey career is complete on the ice.

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Young and McCanney to the NAHL Top Prospects Game: Read more

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Every year, the NAHL holds a showcase for its top uncommitted prospects, and top prospects as asked for by NHL Central Scouting in conjunction with the Robertson Cup. This year the team will see two players, Jonathan Young and Liam McCanney suit up for their division as two uncommitted players ready to showcase to the NCAA why they both deserve Division One offers in a year that has been even more tough for them to be secured. Both are high energy, and effort players who can defend in their own end, with potential scoring upside in the future.

From Head Coach Bryan Eriskon, he commented on the even at large:

“It’s unfortunate that we only got 2 non goalie selections but that is a by product of not having a successful season as far as wins and losses go. But Liam and Jonathan are so deserving (as we thought a lot of players were). We are deep in the process with both and I think for anyone without a D1 commitment at this point it will be very hard. But all we can do is keep making the calls and seeing where schools are at.”

On Liam and Young’s next steps he said ” And then Liam and Younger need to go out and perform at a high level in front of all of the Coaches that will be there as we expect every school to have a representative in the building. I am happy for them both and happy that they will get the chance to perform in front of D1 schools finally. The Portal, Covid, the 5th year of eligibility,… (programs like RMU shutting down and UAH suspending their play). Now that they can see Liam and Younger in person we hope they can find a fit.”

On Anton Castro playing for the NHL Central Scouting team, Erikson added

” And Anton Castro will be representing us as well as a selection by Central Scouting. Hugo Haas was also selected but he is unable to get back into the country for the games. But we are thrilled for Anton and really looking forward to seeing him showcase his skills in front of NHL teams. ”

This weekend, although the Generals team will not be playing in Blaine, multiple players of theirs will be, all of them looking to prove they have what it takes to earn and offer, or in Castro’s situation, be selected by an NHL team next month.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Your donation will help expand what content we can offer and how many stories we can tell.

Tyler Cooper to St. Olaf: More from the Generals

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Bryan Erikson, Head Coach of the Northeast Generals always talks about having players of character who can also play the game well. Tyler Cooper fits that bill. The speedy forward put up numbers of a two way player, but Erikson expects that he will score even more for the Oles of St. Olaf. In addition, Erikson discussed the process for Cooper, able to find a home in the first of five recruiting classes effected directly by the extra year afforded to all players who played in the 2020-2021 campaign, marred by the Covid-19 pandemic. For Mules fans wondering about Cooper, look at some of his game tape from the past season, his effort from shift to shift is consistent, and he brings a high level of drive to his game. In a cycle not marred by the pandemic and its ramifications, Cooper may have had some more looks from Division One schools.

As Erikson said of the English national team player

” The entire process is frustrating this year with the 5th year and the portal being crazy but it is what it is. We always prepare all of our players to be grateful to be able to play hockey anywhere at the next level. St. Olaf is an outstanding school and hockey program that will be a great fit for Coop. He is a great kid that can fill the net. He is tough the play against, works hard and is a great great kid on and off the ice. I think it’s going to be a great fit for everyone involved. Really proud of Tyler.”

Of the process still ongoing for his uncommitted players Erikson added

“We are still working on all our other 2000’s. They all have amazing D3 opportunities awaiting them but I am still pushing for something to happen at the D1 level. None of our players will end up at anything less than a great school and hockey program no matter the level. Each will have the opportunity to play after college as long as they perform like we think they can. But hoping something shakes free with Young and a few others. Tough process but also tough for the schools in the mix.”

The reality of finding a Division One home for all uncommitted 2000 born players is the toughest of any class over the next five seasons. To their credit, the Generals have remained focused on finding the best fit for the player as composed to the best fit to burnish the legacy of their team.

One thing that made life tougher for Erikson’s uncommitted players is the closure of the Robert Morris program. On the impact of the decision he said ” It really hurt. Just when some kids were getting some looks 20 + kids became available.” Coaches across the game now have even more players in the crowded transfer portal to consider against the uncommitted players looking for a home. The timing of the decision made things even worse.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Generals Add Three Through NAHL Supplemental Draft

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Today, General Manager Matt Dibble, and Head Coach Bryan Erikson welcomed three more players to the Family of the Northeast Generals for their 2021-2022 campaign. All three selections in the NAHL Supplemental Draft, a draft happening for the second time today, have college interest at the Division One level.

More importantly, to Erikson and Dibble, the philosophy for picking players in this draft, and in every other opportunity they have to add talent centers around fit. Erikson has cut players ranked by NHL Central Scouting because they did not mesh well with his group, and Dibble and Erikson each value players who are good humans first, and ones they can work with more than on ice players who may be a bit higher end, but off the ice do not work well with others. That philosophy will be on full display in the NAHL Entry Draft next month where the Generals will make six selections to add to their player pool ahead of their main camp next season.

Today, the Generals selected Swedish winger Linus Petersson with their first choice, Michael Woll with their second pick, and Tyler Procious with their final pick. Of the three, Petersson’s upside seems to be the most immediate with his 6’4″ frame and ability to find the net. The Generals will be adding a power forward to a top six group that could see Jake Dunlap return to it, among their other superb veterans. He only played eight games last season for his Sollentuna side in the under 20 league in Sweeden. His statistics from seasons before the last one profile as a power forward with scoring upside. If he can pitch in supplemental scoring to go along with his physical game in the top six, then Erikson and Dibble will have an impact power forward to help out a group of returners in the top six all with speed and skill.

As for Michael Woll, the brother of former Boston College Eagle and current Toronto Maple Leaf Joseph Woll, he brings a similar power forward game up the middle, along with a brief stint with the Madison Capitals of the USHL last season (two games). In addition, Erikson and Dibble have seen him play a lot, given that he plays with tender Sixten Jennersjo, and has played with Ryan Gordon and Jackson McCarthy.

Regarding Tyler Procious, the offensive defender has shown the ability to generate a large amout of points at the Tier One level, but did not see it come just yet in his season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. He will be given every opportunity to show the growth of the offensive side of his game at the USHL level, and the Generals retain his NAHL rights should that end up being the place he ends up playing at. He is a leader wherever he goes, and brings the intangibles and top-end skill together, the former being a requirement for Erikson and Dibble, the latter bringing promising upside.

As Erikson described of the picks today,

” We got all 3 players that Matt targeted. We had watched Linus quite a bit and it’s rare to see a 6’4 power forward that can fly. We think he slots right into our top 6. And Michael Woll plays right down the street at the prestigious Mount St. Charles and joins teammate Sixten Jennersjo and former teammates Ryan Gordon and Jackson McCarthy. Woll is another 6’4 forward that can skate well and fire the puck. Tyler is a player that has played for Matt Dibble’s summer program Roc City Elite that we are very familiar with. We hope he sticks in the USHL but wanted him to have a landing spot if it didn’t work out. He is an elite defender.”

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Generals add size: More on Bryce Cooper

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

One consistent that the 2020-2021 Northeast Generals had on their backend was skilled size. Players like Alex Tertyshny showed the ability to play a cerebral game, defend well, and allow the speedy forwards the group had to operate. With Tertyshny heading to AIC, Head Coach Bryan Erikson and General Manager Matt Dibble have been working to update the rear guard of the Generals with more talent.

Enter, among their other defensive tenders, Bryce Cooper. His game plays similar in terms of efficient use of size to Terythsny. Cooper comes from the Colorado Rampage, a Tier One U18 team, where he utilized his six feet six inch tall frame to lead his team from the back end. As Erikson said of Cooper

” He moves very well laterally and plays with a great edge to his game.  He makes a great first pass and is quick to jump up in the play and is great with the puck on his stick.  He has a heavy shot and a great release.  Loved his compete level and the fact that he has finished all of his checks.  He is a real force out on the ice in all 3 zones and we feel he will be a huge addition to our rebuilt blueline.”

In addition, Erikson added

” Bryce is a monster at 6’6 but is a very good skater. Very physical. Hard to play against and has a lot of offensive ability to add. We think he will slide into our top 4 next year and be able to play in all phases of our game. He has a lot of D1 potential and we expect him to get a lot of attention by Hockey East and other programs in our area almost immediately.”

In terms of finding an impact ready player who will eat a lot of minutes, through the tender system, it seems like Erikson got one of the many players he is looking for. If Cooper can increase the offensive celling to his game, then more than just Hockey East Schools will be interested in him. It is his job to get better with the tools Erikson and his staff will give him. In the long run, if he can play anything like Tertyshny, more people at the next level will know his name very quickly.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Growing College Hockey: Why all fans should care

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

First, this article is not in any way critical of any conference for choosing to accept or not accept any member looking for a home. While Alabama Huntsville may still get into Atlantic Hockey for a future season, the reality is that it was too late in the game for them to get into the conference for the upcoming season. This article kind of includes the story of one of Huntsville’s natives, Nic Dowd. The former Husky watched the Chargers play on many weekends growing up and has had them to look towards as a kid. Perhaps without the Chargers, and the youth hockey structure of college hockey towns that relies on partnerships with college teams, Dowd might not have even seen what college hockey is, and the first Alabama native to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs might not have done so.

In the short run, to get Huntsville a membership this season, you would be asking schools to completely re-do schedules that have been in the works for a while, and in college athletics, schedules are assembled often one or more seasons ahead of . They have a strong pitch to be considered, and one that could see the Chargers come back in a couple of seasons, if Atlantic Hockey gets seven Athletic Directors to approve their application. The reality of that pitch is a small net positive cash flow to make a trip to Huntsville for many schools in the conference.

This conversation is about more than the Chargers, it is about what we want Division One College Hockey to look like in the next decade, for both men and women. We go back to our chat with Frank Serratore, long time leader of Air Force Hockey.. While he is not an athletic director, or one with the power to wave a magic wand, he has been on the right side of things in this sport in terms of advocating for the good of the game. He noted the value of a universal three-on-three system the year before the NCAA implemented it, and standardized it for the pairwise, has developed many a leader both in this game and in the Air Force, and more.

From our previous chat with him, we wrote around what he said

“From a development standpoint he said “there’s more good players than there are lockers out there.” Finally, he added, “we don’t want to have less opportunities, and there’s more kids that can play” at the Division One level than there are spots available for them to do so right now. ”

As is often the case in this game, Serratore is right.

Look at the transfer portal right now.

You could easily put together 9-10 teams of competitive division one talent that would make the haves in this sport sweat. While not as many transfers are in the women’s transfer portal, that truth still abides. American college hockey is the growing supplier of top NHL talent, the development engine for a growing majority of professional players around the world, and home to some of the best atmospheres anywhere in college sports.

Who does not want more of that, combined with players getting degrees and going on to lead in whatever field they choose post hockey?

To grow the game requires time, effort, energy, and a lot of money. College Hockey Inc. is full of people who bring the first three, and helps connect those with money who want to see the game grow in other places.

Who else can help?

Fans

Yes, fans can push for advocacy and the ability to improve this great sport. Even if you do not have millions of dollars somewhere in an account, you have a reason to support this game growing, especially if you are fan of a small school.

On a competitive level, the way this sport is, it is one where smaller schools can make the biggest impact. It is one where public schools, like Huntsville, can have a Division Two program in everything else, but have one sport that catapults their department to the national conversation? Why does this matter?

Well, look at schools like Lake Superior State, and Bemidji State, these two schools are underdogs compared to those around them in terms of notoriety, but when they win games to get into the NCAA Tournament, their school, their team, and their town gets time in the national spotlight.

That spotlight, as has been shown in studies of post Men’s Basketball Tournament trends, leads to more applications, and that keeps universities thriving.

Look at AIC

In just five short years, Eric Lang took a school a lot of people did not take the time to care about, or acknowledge the existence of, and turned them into a national powerhouse. They are three time Atlantic Hockey Regular Season Champions, and have two NCAA Tournament trips in that time, beating the number one overall seed the first time. The passion that fans have for that program is undeniable. He got the support and buy in from his administration to remake the program, and do the things needed to grow the game at AIC. Grow the game is more than a buzz word, it is real work done by people like Lang across the country to build their programs, start new ones, and save current ones.

Are there groups elsewhere that have that passion?

Yes, of course there are.

Look at the Seawolves of Alaska Anchorage. This is a program working to build a sustainable funding model to play as an independent in two seasons, and they are getting closer every single day. Division One Hockey means a lot to Anchorage, to the point that they even have the Seattle Kraken helping them raise funds and visibility for them.

If you are a fan of this game, we implore you not to pony up the six figure amount one needs to fund a team, but rather to simply amplify the efforts of those working to add teams, and those like Sheldon Wolitski, Taso Sofikitis, and the wonderful folks working to Save Seawolves Hockey. All of these programs are needed, more programs are needed, and more teams are needed to meet the growing talent coming from all leagues that feed the college hockey system.

Fundamentally, there is nothing quite like Division One College Hockey, and for those that want to see this game grow, while we are not asking all of you to fund a team, or give a school a new conference home, we are asking for the frame of discussion to be moved. Figuring out how to preserve programs, empower local funding, and grow this game should be on the minds of everyone involved in the sport. This game means so much to so many, and the ability to frame discussions on funding and saving, and also building new programs, is the way for this sport to grow. At a conference level, more conferences than just Atlantic Hockey have to shoulder some of the load as well, and hopefully more conferences are formed as more teams join. As more schools look to join, public support for those efforts is key to reinforcing the ideas of administrators at those schools, public support draws notoriety which draws donors, and funding for a better future for this game.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Season Finale for Northeast Generals showcases themes of this season, and hope for the future: Read more

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.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Valiantly, the Generals come up just short against Maryland 4-2: More on the effort

Photo Credit : Patrick Garriepy Photography

The Northeast Generals, despite being out of the playoff race, still had a lot to play for tonight against the Maryland Black Bears. Despite the 4-2 final stat line in the regulation loss, the team showed cohesion, and were an interesting call away from having a 3-3 tie heading into overtime against Maryland. There was a lot of good for this group that came in this game, as they dealt with adversity on two interesting calls, and still found a way to fight until the very end, losing 4-2 because of a late empty net power play goal they conceded.

That interesting call came late in the third period. The Generals appeared to have the equalizer, but the crew lead by referee Jake Muzik blew the play dead for potentially incidental contact. The ensuing faceoff was held in the offensive zone, not in the neutral zone where it should have been if incidental contact was the issue. After the officials went to discuss things, they upheld waving the goal off. Hannes Kollen, Maryland’s netminder was contacted, but Head Coach Bryan Erikson contends that happened after the puck cross the line, and is pretty upset at the crew of Muzik for this, and an incident where at the end of the first period, Hugo Haas, Northeast’s netminder was interfered with, no penalty was assessed to the Black Bear who did it, but in retaliation, Alex Tertyshny got a roughing minor.

On the no goal Erikson said ” Ref wouldn’t talk to me to tell me why it wasn’t a goal. Puck clearly went in and clearly went in before any type of contact was made with him by our player that was high sticked in the face. Just a terrible call and a gutless move by the ref to not talk to me about it. I didn’t yell once the entire game at least show me and your profession a little respect.”

On the Haas incident that ended the first period, Erikson said ” Once again ref wouldn’t talk to me. So I’m assuming we are just allowed to run goalies unless we score then it’s no goal.”

Besides that, on the whole, the Generals played a sound game and pushed the pace of play. They were spurred on by captain Dylan Schuett’s goal in the first. He took a superb feed from Jake Dunlap and put the puck home to bring the Generals within one goal. As Erikson said of Dylan’s improvement since comfiting to Long Island University back in December ” He has relaxed a little bit and it’s freed up his offensive game. The kid is battling so many injuries it’s crazy what he has to do just to even suit up. But then to go out there and play well and score a great goal on a ridiculous play by Dunlap is great.” Of the goal’s impact Erikson added ” Dylan’s goal seemed to give us a little extra jump same as David’s did. We have struggled scoring lately so it was great to get on the board and to remember how to just laugh and have fun.”

Going into the season finale tomorrow night, two things stood out. First, when we asked Erikson for any good off ice memory from his class of 2000 birth year players playing their final game of junior hockey tomorrow night, he couldn’t saying instead ” I can’t single any one kid out. I put some much time into the 2000’s and in return I get the best gift. I get to be apart of their journeys. I get to share inside jokes, laugh at them, with them, laugh at myself. We have so much fun and I am just so proud and honored to say that I coach this special group of kids.”

He went on in his message to the Generals ahead of the finale ” Just enjoy this. Enjoy the meals, the jokes, the boys. Have fun. You will remember this group forever so let’s just regroup and leave it on the ice tomorrow so we don’t have any regrets.”

Finally, he noted something that has become emblematic of this group, and what he looks for from them, and every team he coaches on tomorrow night. He said, “we just came out with more focus on playing as a team rather than as individuals. And that is always our key to success. No one player is better than the team. And I expect the same tomorrow.”

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Northeast Generals lose 5-1 to Danbury: What comes next?

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

In a season marred by a pandemic, and a months long road trip resulting from said pandemic, Northeast Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson is honest about the last two games of the season, after his group lost a 5-1 result to close out their all to brief home season. He said ” Our boys won’t quit. They will play hard. Not always as hard or as smart as I want but they are great kids and I am very proud to be able to tell people that I get to Coach them.” Eriskon is ready to finish the season on the road against Maryland strong, and his group is already preparing for a season that will look a lot different for his team.

As he said in crediting Media Relations Director Alice Boushell and Marketing Director Matt Atherton ” Matt and Alice are truly the backbone of our organization. They do such an amazing job from meals, to hotels, to getting play by play guys etc. They are the best in the business and incredibly hard workers. We knew we weren’t going to play a lot of home games so we didn’t hire a full time broadcaster this year but that will be one task that they are excited to tackle. We just spent a ton of money to upgrade our broadcast for next year where we will have a 4 camera set-up with instant replay and graphic overlays that they are really excited about. I am too, game presentation matters, it gets fans watching but also scouts get a better view of our players.”

As for tonight, the shutout was averted as Jake Dunlap scored a power play goal in the third period to make it a 5-1 game. What did the Generals in was conceding, on two successive non even strength chances, a power play goal, and a shorthanded goal to the Hat Tricks in the first period before they could get going. In net, Jake Essensa did a lot to keep the Generals in the game, but the Jr. Hat Tricks did a lot of things right to get their five scores. For his debut game at the NAHL level, Essensa looked like he belongs, and also may get another look before the season ends. For the Maryland series to close the season out, it is not likely that any more players outside of the active roster will be seen. As Erikson said ” We toyed with the idea of playing Nick and Tyler Ramm who are 2 of our tenders from our U18 team but we also have to weigh being loyal to the guys that have been here all year. We rode with guys for a long time and I think we are going to do the same in Maryland.”

Josh Seeley made 49 saves for the Jr. Hat Tricks tonight .As Erikson said of his effort ” I thought Danbury’s goalie was outstanding. We had 4 wide open nets where we shot the puck and he came out of nowhere.” With that said, Erikson wanted to see more screens, and more taking away of the goaltender’s sight which did not happen enough to win a hockey game for the Generals tonight.

Beyond the season, the Top Prospects showcase awaits some Generals players. As Erikson said , he wants as many players on teams as possible. He added ” t all depends on how many we get in. Might only be 2. It’s going to be tough. Jonathan Young, Liam McCanney, Ricky Boysen and Tyler Cooper are all very good choices. They have all been great for our program and done what has been asked of them and more. I would love for all of them to get there but just not how it works. And if their is an NHL Top Prospects Team like there has been in the past I would love to see Paul Minnehan and Hugo get a shot in front on NHL scouts with other players in the same situation.”

Of Haas and helping Essensa tonight, Erikson added “Hugo is a great person. Always talks to Jake, gives him advice and asks questions. He was his biggest cheerleader today. It’s great to see. Just 2 young men that are great kids and great goalies who bounce things off of each other.”

Erikson coaches a team full of great humans, and this group has 120 more minutes on the ice in regulation to earn wins and visibility. For those looking for college commitments, this is their last chance to impress some folks with the group they have battled with for most of the season. For all of those leaving following the year, it is two more chances to close their book of junior hockey on a high note with a win. For those returning, two wins to end the season would mentally shorten the offseason for them, and add some positivity heading into camp next year. For all of them, this group that has fought together through a pandemic, it is a chance to show the league how far they have come, two more final tests to showcase what the Northeast Generals are to the world before the offseason begins, starting Thursday, May 13.

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1-0: More on Northeast’s overtime loss, and what’s next

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Tonight, despite an improved effort from the Northeast Generals, they came up on the short end of a 1-0 overtime loss to the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. Haas had a shutout until overtime, and came up on the short end of a goaltending duel despite playing with the consistency and effort that has helped steady the Northeast Generals in net throughtout this tumultuous season marred by a global pandemic.

On the evening , the Generals played well, despite not finding the back of the net. For most of the game, Head Coach Bryan Erikson said” I liked our effort in the first 50 minutes. I thought we did a good job controlling the game, controlling the forecheck and getting pucks in deep. We didn’t do a great job of getting traffic but credit to their goalie who played very well and earned the shut out.”

On Hugo’s effort he added “Hugo was amazing as usual. Didn’t get tested a lot but made big saves when he needed to. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t bury our chances to get him a shut out but those are the breaks.”

Tonight the Generals had a different lineup which featured Aidan Flynn. The forward has not gotten as many looks as some of his colleagues but did not disapoint tonight. Erikson said ” Flynn is the best. Just shows up everyday to work very hard. Does all the extra stuff. Very simple player that makes simple, smart plays. Loved the effort and compete level. Great kid who is a good piece for us next year.”

On the lineup changes, Erikson added ” Lineup changes are only dictated by the fact that we have 6 games in 8 days now 3 in 4 days. Need to get everybody in and try to keep guys fresh. Don’t want unnecessary injuries. Will be the same tomorrow. Will have a few guys out and the guys that were out back in.”

Going into tomorro night, Generals fans, and Bruins fans will get a glimpse of the future. Jake Essensa will get the start in net. He will be making his NAHL debut in net, and has experience around the goaltending position. His father, Bob, played over a decade in the NHL as a goaltender, and now is the goaltending coach for the Boston Bruins.

Erikson gave a good scouting report on Jake saying ” Jake will have to adjust to the speed of the game. He had an outstanding year for Eric Progen with our U18 team (Progen leads the Under 18 team, and is part of Erikson’s coaching staff) and practiced with the NA team all year. He knows the guys, the guys know him and respect him as a goalie. He just needs to get that first save and get the jitters out. He works so hard and is a very good goalie.” Look for the Generals to come out fast tomorrow. They generated some good looks tonight but could not get anything into the net. They have one more home game in a season full of tumult, and one destined to leave a mark not only for the veterans playing in their final junior hockey games, but for the returners like Flynn and Essensa, looking to build on the legacy of determination and persistence that has become a hallmark of of the class of Generals playing their final three games before moving onto college hockey.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts