North Andover, MA – The Islanders Hockey Club allowed just one goal in a two-game sweep over the Rochester Americans winning 3-0 and 4-1. The wins propel the IHC into the semi-finals of the USPHL Premier Division.
The Islanders came out flying in game one outshooting the visitors 16-5, but would not find the back of the net due to some great goaltending by Tom Aubrun. The pressure would continue in the second and it would be Ethan Solat on the shorthand who would intercept a pass in front of Aubrun and backhand a quick 5-hole goal. Special teams would prove to be a big part of the series when Tyler Sifferlen (UMB) popped home a power play goal with Brendan van Riemsdyk (UNH) and Brent Beaudoin (Brown) assisting. Early in the third Brendan Soucie (Army) would cap off a long shift of offensive prowess, as he along with Ace Cowans (UVM) and Owen Powers (Holy Cross) would control the puck for nearly a minute of play before popping home the well-earned goal. Anthony Tirabassi (Holy Cross) would be perfect on the night stopping 22 of 22 including 12 in the third period.
Game two started the same with the IHC outshooting the Americans 25-5 and would walk off the ice with a 1-0 lead off a PP goal from Brent Beaudoin. Sifferlen and BvR would assist on the goal. Brendan Soucie would strike again on the PP at the start of the second period with a truly highlight reel goal when he faked a shot and then walked around a prone Aubrun and tucked it in skating behind the net. Liam Darcy (UNH) and Powers would pick up helpers on the play. Rochester would score their only goal of the weekend when Gabriel Chabot scored a shorthanded goal later in the second. The IHC would end any momentum the Americans might have when great N-Zone pressure forced a turnover at the blueline and allowed the line of Ethan Solat, Jeremy Solat, and Austin Goldstein (Northeastern) to rush in with Jeremy Solat knocking home the rebound goal. Late in the game with the goalie pulled and the puck about to be carried in by the Amerks, Ethan Solat would step up and pop the puck carrier to the ice allowing Brent Beaudoin to pick up the loose puck, gain the red line, and fire it into the empty net and seal the 4-1 victory. Tirabassi was terrific in net again stopping 23 of 24.
The Founders Cup Champions Islanders Hockey Club will host again this weekend as the #1 seed. Games will take place in Gallant Arena on the campus of Merrimack College on Friday and Saturday with game times being 5pm. They will have to wait for the other playoff series to conclude before knowing who will be up next. Last night the CT Rangers upset the Jersey Hitmen 5-3, South Shore earned a 6-5 OT win, and the Jr Bruins also won in OT defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. All teams play again today, and tomorrow if needed.