Jr. Americans Embark On Next Chapter In History: Welcome To Playoff Hockey

Apr 12, 2024

Article Witten by Aidan Charde
Recap vs. Northeast Generals on April 5 and 6

A split series was enough to earn the Rochester Jr. Americans the third seed and the rights to host round one of the playoffs after taking two points from the Northeast Generals last weekend.

The Jr. Americans nearly completed an impressive comeback in game one but ultimately dropped the game thanks to a pair of goals in each of the first two periods. Down 4–1 with eight minutes left in the second frame, Rochester fought back, scoring twice before the end of the game but failing to net the game-tying goal.

Power plays were few and far between for the game on both sides, but the teams combined for three goals on five chances. Despite the loss, there was a silver lining as forwards Massimo Gentile and Matteo Disipio both scored their 30th goals of the season.

Game two went a little bit smoother for Rochester as goalie Cole O’Donnell carried a shutout to the halfway mark of the third period. The star of the show, though, was forward Adam Gionta, who scored his first hat trick of the season at a perfect time to carry the Jr. Amerks to a 4–2 win, clinching the third seed.

Because of the out-of-town scores, Northeast’s two points from the game one win was enough for them to clinch the sixth seed, meaning the teams are now primed for a rematch this weekend for the first round of playoff action.


Preview: April 12, 13 and 14 (if necessary) vs. Northeast Generals

WHEN: April 12 at 7 p.m. | April 13 at 6 p.m. | April 14 at 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Rochester Ice Center | Fairport, NY





The Rochester Jr. Americans get another matchup with the Northeast Generals, a team they have handled well this season. Rochester won six of eight matchups with the Generals this year and will be able to carry in the momentum from last weekend after capturing the second game.


East Division playoff picture

After the final weekend of the regular season, the Maryland Black Bears and Maine Nordiques claimed the top two seeds in the division and were each granted a bye through the first round. The Jr. Amerks did enough to earn the third seed and will host the Northeast Generals, who slipped by the Philadelphia Rebels for the sixth seed. Meanwhile, the fourth seeded Johnstown Tomahawks host the fifth seeded New Jersey Titans.

Round one is a best-of-three with all games being played in one location. In round two, Maryland will face the lowest remaining seed while Maine will face the highest remaining seed in a best-of-five series. Those games will be split between the two teams’ home arenas.


Gionta surges into the postseason

Forward Adam Gionta saved his best game for last as his three-goal performance was the difference in a pivotal game against the Generals. It was his third multi-goal night and raised his total to 19 on the year. Gionta, who has been a dangerous scoring threat all season, flew under the radar behind Massimo Gentile, Matteo Disipio and Luca Leighton, who combined for 89 goals as a trio, but his 19 goals and 25 assists were crucial to the team’s success this year.


Rochester brings a trio of goalies to the playoffs

The Jr. Amerks have three goalies who have all played significant minutes able to suit up during postseason action. With round one taking place across three consecutive days, having a rested goalie in the net each night is a possibility if the series goes to the final game. All three goalies have had their share of success, too. Danick Leroux, the newest addition to the team, has four shutouts in 12 games with a 1.99 goals allowed average — the seventh-best mark in the league for goalies with at least as many games as him. Florian Wade has played the most games of the three, suiting up 31 times with a solid 2.87 goals allowed average and a .913 save %. Finally, Cole O’Donnell, who has played four games since coming back from a long-term injury, has allowed three or fewer goals in 11 of his 18 appearances and earned the team’s first shutout back in November.


Several Jr. Amerks are setting the bar high

With just one regular season in the books, it was easy for the players to set franchise records, but some marks may be hard to beat by future players in the coming years. Gentile’s 31 goals is an impressive mark that only six NAHL players managed to match or beat this year while Disipio’s 51 assists and 81 points could stand for a while. Tyler Procious missed 16 games, but was still able to tally 40 assists, the second-highest total by a defenseman in the league. Leroux’s aforementioned four shutouts in a season is the top goalie mark to beat in the future. Finally, only five teams managed to put more goals in the net than the Jr. Amerks this year, who combined for 213 goals as a unit.


Jennersjo is the key to the Generals’ offense

Northeast forward Sixten Jennersjo scored just 16 goals this year but still ended up with the second-most points in the NAHL. How? Because he added a whopping 67 assists, 10 more than any other player in the league. Northeast lost in 12 of the 18 games where Jennersjo did not have an assist and he had nearly as many games with two or more assists (17) as he did with zero.

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