The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the activation of the Northeast Generals membership, who will begin play during the 2016-17 season as a part of the NAHL’s East Division.
The East Division made its debut in the NAHL during the 2015-16 season with the Aston Rebels (Aston, PA), Johnstown Tomahawks (Johnstown, PA), New Jersey Titans (Middletown, NJ) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (Pittston, PA), who will all return in the addition to the Generals for the 2016-17 season.
The Generals organization is led by Richard O’Dowd (Director of Operations), Bryan Erikson (Head Coach/General Manager) and Robert Penfield (Managing Director). This past season, the Generals had a junior team in the Tier III NA3EHL, which will also continue in addition to the NAHL team in 2016-17 with a NA3HL team as part of the NA3HL/NA3EHL merger.
“This is an exciting day for hockey on the East Coast,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding areas are rich in hockey tradition and talented hockey players that want to play in the NAHL. An NAHL team in Attleboro is a win for the NAHL, a win for the NAHL East Division, and most importantly a win for the players that will not have to move far from home to play NAHL Hockey. With the large number of NCAA teams and scouts in the region, it will be a nice addition to the wonderful exposure we already get as a league and likely help us add to the record number of NCAA commitments.”
The Generals will play out of the New England Sports Village located in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. The New England Sports Village is a 53 million dollar project that contains two NHL-sized rinks and a studio rink in the initial phase. The Village includes a 150-room hotel, a 50-meter pool, an indoor turf field house and two outdoor turf fields. In addition to playing home games at the New England Sports Village the Generals will play a select number of games at the Walter Brown Arena (home to Boston University) and Mathews Arena (home to Northeastern University).
Head coach and general manager, Bryan Erikson, will continue lead the Generals on the ice. Erikson has over 19 years of coaching experience. Erikson was selected as one of coaches that lead the NA3EHL Top Prospects team this past season. In addition, the Generals coaching staff will include Mike Tenney as associate head coach (joining the Generals from the Maine Wild and has over 10 years of coaching experience) and Steve Mastalerz as goalie coach from GDS goaltending (former standout goalie at UMass-Amherst).
“We are extremely excited to be joining the NAHL. Our first year as part of the NA3EHL was outstanding and we think by adding a team in the NAHL the Generals will become a destination organization. The NAHL provides a level of hockey that hasn’t been seen in the area. This is a great opportunity for both the Generals and New England hockey. We can’t wait to get started,” stated Erikson.