#USPHLPlayoffs: Islanders Hockey Club vs. College Universel Gatineau

New England Division 

College Universel Gatineau (4) at Islanders Hockey Club (3)

All Games At Gallant Arena, North Andover, MA

Sunday, March 10, 1:30 p.m. EST

Monday, March 11, 11:30 a.m. EST 

Tuesday, March 12, 11:30 a.m. EST (If Necessary) 


By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 


The College Universel Gatineau is certainly on a mission to make some history – they want to be the first Canadian team to make the USPHL Nationals. If they do become the first, they certainly wouldn’t be the last – a six-team division of squads from Quebec and Ontario are starting Premier play in 2024-25, and there will be at least one automatic berth from that division in future Nationals. 

They will be facing a team that is very familiar with Nationals. The Islanders Hockey Club have made the season-ending tournament every year except for 2019. Gatineau got to this point of the playoffs by defeating the No. 5 seed Springfield Pics in a close three-game set last weekend. 

“We’ve worked really hard. It was a physical series and the Pics were competing at their best,” said Gatineau Head Coach Alexandre Gagnon. “We need to find a way to score more goals 5-on-5 when we are creating some offensive zone strong times. We have lots of shots but now we need to be clutch!”

The Islanders defeated the South Shore Kings in 3-1 and 3-2 victories to advance to the second round, which has a #USPHLNationals berth awaiting the winner. 

The Islanders and Gatineau faced each other five times and the IHC finished 3-1-1-0. The two most recently games came on Feb. 16-17, which saw a 4-3 and a 3-1 Islanders regulation wins. 

“The season series was very tight,” recalled Islanders Head Coach Jay Punsky. “Most of the games were decided by a goal or two. They are a talented offensive team so we will have to defend well and manage the puck.” 

Gagnon also likes what the match-up should bring in terms of quality of hockey from wire to wire. 

“I think it’s a solid 50/50 battle. It’s going to end up being who wants it more, wins more battles and makes it tough for the other teams to score,” Gagnon added. “We both can’t give easy goals to the opponent.” 

The Universel trio of Mathis Tarani, Remi Dionne and Louis Ouellet each registered more than 50 points, with Ouellet topping the group at 53 points. Dionne led the team with a +20 and Tarani won a team-leading 431 faceoffs for 56 percent. Defenseman Samuel Cardinal led in blocked shots with 69. 

Tarani and fellow forward Justin Trottier each scored three points in the playoffs to lead the way. 

Marcus Gomes was the leading goaltender with a 12-6-0-1 record and a .921 save percentage. Jean-Christophe Deslauriers (.910) and Simon Thibault (.907) round out the trio. Gomes went 2-1 during the first round with a .939 save percentage, stopping 107 of 114. 

For the Islanders, the Islanders were more of a scoring by committee team, as 15 players put up 10 points or more on the regular season. The leaders were four in the 30-point vicinity, led by Jack Roberts (37), Dylan Reynolds (36) and the duo of Caden Mech and Jesper Seeberg (31 points). Seeberg is playing in his fourth season with IHC. Roberts led in faceoffs with 362 wins (56 percent) and Mech led the team in hits with 54, and defenseman Mees Van Wingerden led in blocks with 36. Reynolds and defenseman Jamie Eyre were +16 to lead the team. 

Reynolds and Nicholas Rooney each had three points to lead the team against the Kings. Julius Andrekus and D.J. Lyons each had one win in that series as well. Andrekus stopped 27 of 28 and Lyons stopped 39 of 41. Lyons went 11-5-1-3 with a .919 save percentage in the regular season.