Generals end regular season with second best record in NA3HL

Published on Mar 4, 2024 via

The Generals swept their final regular season series of the year, defeating the New Hampshire Jr. Mountain Kings at home on Saturday, March 2, 4-1, and Sunday, March 3, 4-3 in overtime.

Game one saw the Gens get active early, with forward Gabe Vijuk flipping a pass in front of the net top shelf for his team leading 29th goal of the season to make it 1-0 seven minutes into the game. Forward turned defenseman Reese Tamburo got involved with the scoring after redirecting a shot headed toward the net on the powerplay to make it 2-0 with 39 seconds remaining in the period. Forward John Rodgers made it three straight unanswered goals for the Gens with a slick handed wrap around the legs of the goaltender five minutes into the second period before New Hampshire responded 10 minutes in with a powerplay goal to make it 3-1. Forward Levente Pakozdi made it 4-1 with a goal of his own a little under 12 minutes into the second after forcing a loose puck in the crease into the twine. Neither team found the goal in the final frame, leaving the final at 4-1 in favor of Northeast.

Goaltender Danny Antal got the start in net for the Gens, securing the win with 30 stops on 31 shots for his 21st victory of the year, the second most in the NA3HL this season. 12 different Generals recorded a point in the victory, including forward Jack Fickenscher in his first career NA3HL game.

Sunday afternoon saw the Jr. Mountain Kings got the jump early on the Gens, with two goals four and 17 minutes into the first to make it 2-0 by the end of the first. The Generals responded quickly in the second though, with forward Blake Hasenauer finding the loose puck in the crease three minutes into the second to make it 2-1. Forward Sean Gorman tied the score a little under 10 minutes into the second after he found a rebound in front of the net that he fired five hole to make it 2-2.

Neither team found the twine until late in the third period, when the Jr. Mountain Kings scored a shorthanded four-on-three goal 18 and a half minutes into the third to jump ahead 3-2. Defenseman Brandon Hemmer, who was acquired at the beginning of February from the Mason City Toros, instantly responded with his own goal 35 seconds on a five-on-three to tie the game at 3-3. The final buzzer sounded with the score deadlocked still, resulting in overtime hockey for the first time since January 23. Forward Anthony Nuzzolilo played hero in extra time, scoring a wrister through traffic thirty seconds in to give the Generals the victory in the final regular season game of the year, 4-3.

Goaltender Mike Foglia guarded the net for game two, stopping 28 of the 31 shots he saw in his 16th win this season. Nuzzolilo and Hasenauer both recorded assists on each other’s goals to make it two for each, with Michael Locke collecting three assists on the final three goals to lead the team in points. Locke has recorded eight total points in the Gens last four games as they enter the postseason.

The Generals will start their Fraser Cup run at home, as they host the Jr. Mountain Kings once again; this time for the East Division Semi-Finals series. Game one will be at the New England Sports Village on Thursday, March 7 at 1:00 PM EST. Game two will take place in Hooksett on Friday, March 8 at 12:00 PM EST. Game three, if needed, will take place at NESV once more, this time on Sunday, March 10 at 12:30 PM EST. The winner of this series will play the winner of the Norwich Sea Captains and New Jersey Titans in the East Division Championship next week, dates and times TBD. The winner of that series will advance to the Fraser Cup series in St. Louis, Missouri, with the other five division winners and the team with the best record that was previously eliminated in their respective division playoffs.