The Northeast Generals are ready to make their mark, to let everyone across the North American Hockey League know that Year 1 was just the opening act.
By Joshua Boyd
Now, they’re into the thick of the 2017-18 season, with the first three games on the entire NAHL schedule matching them up against the Johnstown Tomahawks. The Generals open at home, the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Mass., Sept. 13-15.
General manager Bryan Erikson wanted to make sure his players are in good form and not stumbling into Game 1. He brought all players in starting Aug. 21 for camp.
After less than a week, the team had been on the ice eight times and in the gym four times.
“You’re never really quite sure what to expect until they show up,” said Erikson. “Some kids got better, and we’ve written their names on the board. Some kids aren’t as far along as you’d like, and I’m not sure if that’s just unfair expectations.”
The Generals are happy to have three of their top four scorers from the 2016-17 season back, and looking much more ready for NAHL competition than a year ago.
“Colin Bilek [40 points in 60 games] has come in ready to go. I don’t want to put a number out there, but I do expect his points to go up, thanks to his work ethic and his familiarity with the league,” said Erikson. “Mike Egan, another local player, had a solid year and he’ll make a big jump.”
Egan scored 24 points in 56 games last year. He tied in points with another returning veteran, Matt Wiesner, who joined from the New Jersey Titans and finished with 24 points in 54 games.
“Matt just added a bunch of different dimensions to his game. We are counting on him to have a good year,” said Erikson.
Anthony Quatieri, a ’98 from Danvers, Mass., clicked at better than a point per game at the 18U level for the Boston Jr. Rangers last year. He’s an “exciting surprise up front.”
“He came out of nowhere for us. We saw him at a camp that no one was really good in. We weren’t sure if he was that good or the camp was that bad, but he came into our July tryout camp and put on a show,” said Erikson.
Ryan Rowland joins the defense from the Philadelphia Revolution (EHL). Another ’98, from Manawahkin, N.J.
“He has been incredibly steady and fundamentally sound. He’ll jump into that fourth spot on our ‘D’ and get better,” said Erikson.
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