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#USPHLPlayoffs: Hershey Cubs vs. Rockets Hockey Club 

Atlantic Division

Rockets Hockey Club (6) at Hershey Cubs (3) 

All Games To Be Played At Hersheypark Arena

Friday, March 1, 7 p.m. EST

Saturday, March 2, 5 p.m. EST

Sunday, March 3, 5 p.m. EST (If Necessary)

 

By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 

 

The Hershey Cubs certainly had their best season in team history this year, finishing third in the eight-team Atlantic Division and improving their spot in the overall standings from 54th in their first two seasons to 24th this year. They are hoping to keep up the positive energy in the Premier Atlantic Division playoffs, as they get to host a playoff series for the first time in their three-year history. 

The Cubs finished third in the Atlantic with a record of 26-15-3-0. 

“I expect a hard-fought series against the Rockets. We might have swept the season series, but all of the games were close,” said Co-Owner/GM/Assistant Coach Brady Boudreau. “They finished the year strong, beating some good teams. We are not taking them lightly in the slightest. They have a good defensive structure that we are going to have to crack to have success.”

The Rockets Hockey Club, who are trying to work their way back to Nationals after winning it all in 2022, but then missing the qualification mark in 2023. The Rockets finished with the sixth seed, but no other No. 6 seed in the league really came close to RHC’s 22-17-4-1 record – they were the only No. 6 team in a division to come out with a winning record, showing just how deep the Atlantic was this year. 

“We’ve had several close games with [the Cubs] this season. They played well enough to earn home ice in the first round, and their historic building is one that we always look forward to playing in,” said Rockets Head Coach Matt Morrow. “A full season in the tough Atlantic Division has prepared us well for the challenge that this strong Hershey team presents.”

Hershey brings four players who scored at least a point per game this year, in William Michetti (50 points in 40 games), David Cook (48 points in 41 games), Karson Grainey (44 in 39) and Gabriel Leduc (42 in 42). Cook is the team’s faceoff wins leader with 326 (52 percent). Defenseman Nicholas Majeau led the Cubs with +27 rating, and fellow defensemen Colin Lokitis and Nicholas Zane each put up 49 blocked shots for the team lead there. 

On the Rockets side, they also bring four players with at least one point per game. The team was led by Jake Gusavitch’s 42 points in 41 games. A pair of very impressive ‘05’s was right behind him in Jackson Machon (36 points in 35 games) and defenseman Rocco Tavernese (35 points in 31 games). 

In net, the Rockets had a 1-2 punch with Steven Reganato and Ryan Rhodes. Rhodes played 23 games and won 10 (and registered a .911 save percentage) and Reganato played 21 games and put up nine wins. 

Second-year Cubs goaltender Marc-Antoine Nadeau improved his wins count from five in 2022-23 to 13 this past season, and he put up a .921 in the last four games. 

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