#USPHLPlayoffs Preview: Islanders Hockey Club vs. South Shore Kings

All Games At Gallant Arena, North Andover, Mass. 

Thursday, Feb. 29, 11 a.m. EST 

Friday, March 1, 11 a.m. EST 

Saturday, March 2, 8:10 p.m. EST (If Necessary) 

Note: A late week time change moved the Feb. 29 game time from that which is stated on the graphic, created on Feb. 27, to 11 a.m. EST. 


By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com


The South Shore Kings and Islanders Hockey Club are set for a big showdown in order to try to reach the second round of the New England Division playoffs the following week. The Islanders are trying to extend a string of four consecutive USPHL Nationals qualifications, and the Kings are hoping to make team history by making their first. Not only does each team have to get past the other this weekend, but the winner will have another tough round next weekend before Nationals is on their table. 

With that in mind, they are both focusing solely on the very opponent in front of them. The Islanders enter the series as the No. 3 seed in New England coming off of a 22-15-3-4 record for 51 points, while the Kings went 17-23-3-1 in the regular season for 38 points and the No. 6 seed. 

“The Kings are a dynamic team with great goaltending. Every game this season has been a back and forth battle,” said Islanders Head Coach Jay Punsky. “We expect it to be a difficult series and we are excited for the challenge.”

“We have had a good series with the Islanders this regular season,” added Kings Head Coach Dave O’Donnell. “Playoff hockey is different. We are going to have to match their compete level and play with passion and discipline. Hopefully playing in a very strong region will help us be ready.”

Both teams won three of their six meetings this year, the Kings going 3-3-0-0 while the Islanders went 3-2-1-0 for the extra point to claim the season series victory. After a close 3-2 Kings victory in their first meeting, the next four meetings were decided by three and four goals. The most recent game was a 2-1 Islanders win on Feb. 15. Razor tight throughout, so this is definitely a series that can easily go three (maybe with an OT or two – or three – to really spice it up!). 

Both team’s leading scorers – the Kings’ Eison Nee and Islanders’ Jack Roberts – finished with 37 points apiece. Close behind for the Islanders were Dylan Reynolds (36 points), along with Caden Mech and longtime veteran Jesper Seeberg (31 points apiece). Daniel Sieto (31 points) and Payton Kender (25 points) round out South Shore’s top three. 

Defenseman Jamie Eyre, a member of the French National Junior Team, was the Islanders’ plus-minus leader at +17, and Mees Van Wingerden was tops in blocked shots for IHC with 34. On the South Shore side, forward Trevor Morris led in plus-minus at +9, and defenseman Mitchell Jongmans blocked a team-leading 79 shots for his squad. 

In net, Premier veteran D.J. Lyons has been big for the Islanders since his November acquisition from the Nashville Spartans. He put up a season record of 11-5-1-3 with a .919 save percentage. Dominic Walecka has been the most frequent goaltender for the Kings, and he has a 2.99 GAA with a .919 save percentage as well.