Round 2 of the Robertson Cup Set To Begin With Jr. Americans In Maine

Apr 18, 2024

Article Written By Aidan Charde
Recap vs. Northeast Generals on April 12 and 13

It was an action-packed weekend as over 2,000 fans took to the Rochester Ice Center to see the Rochester Jr. Americans sweep the Northeast Generals in two games.

Danick Leroux started game one in the net and quickly set the tone for what would be his best performance of the season, stopping all 10 shots that came in the first period. The highlight of the game came when an errant Rochester pass was intercepted by the Generals, but Leroux stopped the breakaway chance with a tremendous effort.

Eventually, the Jr. Amerks offensive attack would pay off when forward Michael Sandruck snuck a shot past Northeast goalie Toby Hopp for a 1–0 lead with two minutes left in the first period.

Both teams went quiet on the scoresheet for a long stretch after, though not for lack of trying. Rochester tallied 17 shots on goal in the second period but Hopp stopped every one. In the third period, Rochester forward Luca Leighton gave the team some insurance with a shorthanded goal to double the lead and while Northeast fought hard to get back in, a second Sandruck goal put the game away for good.

Game two started mostly the same way game one did, except this time, Northeast was able to get on the board first with a goal in the final minute of the first period. In a second period that saw Rochester attempt 19 shots, Leighton finally connected with six minutes to go on another breakaway to tie the game 1–1.

Although Northeast managed another goal in the final minute, Leighton and forward Massimo Gentile capitalized on a sleeping defense and were able to tie the game again with 1.2 seconds remaining on the clock. Rochester forward Jaden Dyke deflected a shot into the net early in the third and the score held, ending 3–2 Jr. Amerks for a spot in the history books.

With the win, Rochester advances onto round two of the playoffs, where they will face the Maine Nordiques.


Preview: April 19 and 20 vs. Maine Nordiques

WHEN: April 19 at 7:30 p.m. | April 20 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Colisee | Lewiston, ME





In just one season, a deep rivalry has already begun between the Nordiques and Jr. Americans. Although the Nordiques ended with the higher seed, Rochester has had the slight edge this season, going 4–2–2 against Maine. In Lewiston, though, Rochester has been the better team by far, going 3–1 with a 16–8 goal differential. The last time these two teams took the ice in the Colisee, a massive brawl erupted and the teams combined for 198 penalty minutes.


East Division playoff update

With Rochester’s win over the Generals, the Jr. Amerks advanced to the second round to face the No. 2 Maine Nordiques. Meanwhile, the No. 5 New Jersey Titans upset the No. 4 Johnstown Tomahawks in two games to make it to round two where they will play the No. 1 Maryland Black Bears. Round two is a best-of-five series with the two teams splitting hosting duties. The higher seeded team hosts the first weekend of action before heading to the lower seeded team’s rink for the second weekend. If needed, game five will take place at the higher seeded team’s arena.


Danick denies Generals for fifth shutout of season

Goalie Danick Leroux has only been with the Jr. Amerks since early January, but he has established himself as one of the best goalies in the NAHL during that time. He overpowered the Philadelphia Rebels to earn a shutout in his first start and would go on to do that three more times in the regular season. After shutting out Northeast in game one, he is sitting at five shutouts in 13 games played. Only two other goalies in the league have more than him and no other goalie has managed more than one in as few games as Leroux.


Staying out of the box

It is no secret that Rochester and Maine have some bad blood — two of the Jr. Amerks’ highest PIM totals came against the Nordiques. In game one last weekend, the Jr. Amerks struggled to stay on the ice, giving Northeast five power play opportunities but they cleaned the act up in the second game, serving just six minutes in the first period and none the rest of the way. Fortunately, despite being the most prolific offense in the league, Maine is among the worst power play teams, converting under 18% of opportunities. That mark is the second-worst for playoff teams; only the Oklahoma Warriors had a worse success rate.


Watch out for Leighton, Sandruck and Brownlee

In eight games against the Nordiques this season, it may not be a surprise that forward Luca Leighton has been the team’s leading scorer with 11 points. But he is not the only one who has seen success against their rival: Forward Landon Brownlee may be a sneaky threat, as he is one of four players to have scored at least one point in every weekend against Maine along with the team’s highest scorers — forwards Matteo Disipio, Massimo Gentile and Leighton. Additionally, forward Michael Sandruck is coming off a two-goal performance against the Generals and back in February, he cooked the Nordiques’ defense to the tune of three goals and one assist.


Maine enters cold, but with time to regroup

There is good news and bad news for Jr. Amerks fans about their upcoming opponent. The good news is that Maine entered the playoffs as one of the coldest teams in the league, losing five of their last six and having their last regulation win come nearly a month ago on March 23. The bad news is that, as one of the teams with a bye, the Nordiques have been able to use nearly two full weeks to rest, recover and prepare for the upcoming contest, though whether the extended time off will help or hurt is yet to be seen.



The Rochester Jr. Americans are members of the NAHL which is the oldest and largest junior hockey league of its kind in the United States and one of only two USA Hockey-certified leagues that operate under the non pay-to-play model. The NAHL is also one of the best at advancing players to NCAA and professional hockey. All league games are viewable via NAHLTV. For more information, visit


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