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NA Now: Northeast Generals

August 19, 2022

The NA Now series features a look at all 29 teams in the NAHL for the 2022-23 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. NA Now looks into each NAHL team including interviews with all the head coaches in the NAHL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the season, including taking a look at their strengths as a team and thoughts on the league. It will also take a look back on last season and how each team fared and what they accomplished.

Northeast Generals

Head Coach: Bryan Erikson (7th Season)

2021-22 record: 60 GP, 35-24-1, 71 pts. (4th in the East Division)

2021-22 leading scorer: Paul Minnehan (64 points)

2022 Playoffs: Lost to the New Jersey Titans in the East Division Semi-Finals, 3-2

2022-23 Division: East

First regular season game: Friday, September 9th @ Maine Nordiques

Home opener: Friday, September 23rd vs. Johnstown Tomahawks

Perhaps no team went through a bigger roller coaster ride and wave of emotions during the 2021-22 season than the Northeast Generals. Under head coach Bryan Erikson, the team won a franchise record 35 games and had another great year of NCAA commitments with 16 players finishing the season committed to NCAA schools, which included 13 NCAA Division I commitments.

The end of the season and subsequent playoff series was the stuff that will be talked about for years. In the final month of the season, the Generals found themselves in a must-win situation to even make the playoffs. The Gens rolled off five wins in their final six games, which included winning the last four straight and that included a 4-3 overtime win over Maine on the final day of the regular season to get in. In the Robertson Cup Playoffs, the Generals took the eventual Robertson Cup Champion New Jersey Titans to the brink of elimination in Game 5, which saw the series-clinching goal go in with a tenth of a second left on the game clock in the 3rd period, ending the Generals remarkable run.

“I thought it was a big step forward for our team. The regular season was unique for us because we had a younger team that had to get acclimated to the ins and outs of everyday life in the NAHL. We put ourselves in a situation the last few weeks where we had to win out to make the playoffs and we did that, so I was proud of our guys and thought that helped us in the playoffs. We took New Jersey to literally what was the last tenth of a second in Game 5, so it was anyone’s series to win. I think winning a franchise record 35 games and having 16 players committed to play NCAA hockey is something we can really build off and be proud of,” said Erikson.

Watch: Interview with Northeast head coach Bryan Erikson

Entering the 2022-23 season, the Generals will have a good amount of returning players from last year’s team, which should make them an instant contender. Leading the way is forward and St. Lawrence commit David Andreychuk, who was 2nd in team scoring last season with 55 points and 5 points in 5 playoff games. Forward and Air Force commit Joe Schubert also returns after posting 22 points in 56 games. On defense, Mercyhurst recruit Jackson McCarthy is back after playing in all 60 regular season games and recording 22 points. Other returning players include forward Jared Scott, and defensemen Doug Friberg and Jacob Kaminski.

“We did not have a ton of players aging out, so we were a bit lucky on that end. We have three building blocks and three committed guys in David (Andreychuk), Joe (Schubert), and Jackson (McCarthy) who know what they are doing and will be a big part of our leadership. These are the guys we are looking to set the tone. I think it is a huge advantage for us heading into a new season and expectations are very high,” said Erikson.

While the Generals are returning six defensemen, the key to the team’s success may be the return of goalie Cullen DeYoung, who was the Generals workhorse in goal last season. DeYoung finished the season with a 23-11-1 record in 40 appearances and a very respectable .912 save percentage.

One of the other strengths of the Northeast Generals is their commitment to the Ladder of Development. With teams in both the NA3HL and NAPHL, Erikson said it’s a source of pride for the organization. “We like developing kids and keeping them here. All the coaches help with all the teams, the players root for one another, they grow up together, and that develops a big bond. When people talk about the League of Opportunity, we feel like we have so many stories and examples of how that is working with the Generals organization, and we will continue to keep pushing the advancement of our players to the NAHL and beyond.”

As for expectations for the 2022-23 season, the outspoken Erikson said it’s time for him and the team to step up and have that next level of success. “We have finished out of the playoffs or in 4th place since out time in the NAHL. It’s time for me and the staff to step up and have a better start to the season. We want to be chased and not doing the chasing. I think with New Jersey winning the Robertson Cup shows that the East is for real. We are ready and hopefully our turn is next and we can try to win it all,” said Erikson.

Next Up: North Iowa Bulls

 
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