New Year, Same Wins. NAHL Gens Open 2023 with 3-2 Win Over Philly

Sewell, NJ After picking up 3 out of 4 points in Johnstown on New Year’s Eve the  NAHL Generals hit the road for a weekend series against Philadelphia to open the new calendar year. After leading 2-0 in the first intermission, then entering the second break tied at two the Gens looked towards Captain Dave Andreychuk (Saratoga Springs, FL) to find the back of the net and help his team to a 3-2 win over the Rebels.

With the win Northeast improves to 19-10-3-1 this season good for 42 points and 2nd place of the NAHL’s East Division. On the other end of the ice Philadelphia continues to look for answers falling to 11-16-1-1 and staying put in 6th place with 24 points.

Scoring opened for the Generals 5:42 into the contest when Jared Scott (Kenosha, WI) finished on a 2-on-1 break with Andreychuk. While on the backcheck Paul Minnehan (Cypress, CA) (Arizona, NCAA DI) forced a turnover at the far side of his own blue line and pushed the puck up the wall towards Andreychuk. The NAHL’s leading point scorer carried the puck into the offensive zone drawing both a back checker and the lone defenseman for Philadelphia with him before sliding a pass to the near side for Scott. Already on his forehand Scott caught the pass and fired a shot over the glove of Jack Fialkoff and into the top portion of the net all in one motion. For Scott it is his 7th goal of the season, second in as many games while Andreychuk recorded his league leading 31st assist of the campaign.

The Gens doubled the lead just under halfway through the period at the 9:22 mark. Both Ramm brothers Nick and Tyler (Westborough, MA) found themselves behind the Rebel defense and alone on a 2-on-0. Tyler a left hand shot carried the puck into the zone on the left side of the zone, while Nick a right hand shot drove the far post on the right side of the ice. Instead of passing to his brother Tyler shot the puck into the top left corner of the net for his first goal this season giving the Generals a 2-0 lead.

The second period wasn’t as fortuitous for the Generals, in fact it was quite the opposite as the Rebels scored two unanswered goals in the stanza to tie the game. First at 8:45 Greg Spitznagel received a pass right in front of the crease from Connor Sedlak that he just had to redirect between the pads of Toby Hopp (Maple Grove, MN) to cut the deficit in half. Then, at 18:56 just before the end of the period Santino DiNubile up the ice and gave a pass to Sedlak in front. Hopp stopped the initial shot, but DiNubile was waiting back door to bang home the rebound and tie the game.

Tied heading into the third period the teams traded opportunities, but only one found the back of the net. Minnehan caused another turnover on the left side of the neutral zone, but this time decided to skate the puck himself into the offensive end before giving the puck to Andreychuk in the slot. Andreychuk stopped in the slot creating separation between him and the defensemen and ripped a shot off the cross bar and into the net for his 13th goal of the season, and 2nd point of the game.

Despite a late push by the Rebels with an empty net and powerplay late in the game Hopp and the Generals defended the attack and picked up the 3-2 win.

For Hopp it is his 11th win this season moving his record to 11-1-0 this season. The rookie stopped 35 of 37 shots faced. His counterpart Fialkoff earned the loss despite stopping 29 of 32 shots and moves his record to 2-6-0 this season.

The teams will close out the weekend series on Saturday night at 8 p.m. Puck drop is at the Hollydell Ice Arena in Sewell, NJ.

For all the action tune into HockeyTV and follow the Gens on social media @negenerals for game updates and more!