California Rubber

California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

California trio tabbed for weekly USPHL honors


The USPHL has announced its weekly award winners, with three California natives taking home honors.

Richmond Generals forward Matthew Hamacher (Corona) is the Southeast Division Forward of the Week, while Bridgewater Jr. Bandits blueliner Jonathan Rubio (Anaheim) is the New England Division Defenseman of the Week and Vernal Oilers goalie Antonio Tarantino (Fremont) is the Northwest Division Goaltender of the Week.

The Premier veteran Hamacher, a 2003 birth year, put up three goals and an assist as the Gens swept the Charlotte Rush and then beat the Potomac Patriots on Tuesday. The Generals qualified for the Premier playoffs this past weekend, and they’ll bring Hamacher, who now has 65 points in 93 career contests.

Back home, Hamacher played for the Empire Hockey Club and Los Angeles Jr. Kings.

The Jr. Bandits countered a close 5-3 loss to the Twin City Thunder with a 7-0 shutout victory against the same team one day later. Rubio, a 2003 birth year, posted two assists in the victory and he finished the two-game series with a plus-3 rating.

Rubio is in his third year in the USPHL, having started at the USPHL 18U level in 2020-21. The two wins also helped the Bandits move past Twin City and into sixth place with fourth place, which would carry a home-ice berth with it, just two points away.

During his youth hockey days, Rubio played for St. John Bosco and the Jr. Reign.

The 2002-born Tarantino was outstanding with 53 saves on 56 shots in one of the Oilers’ two road wins against the Seattle Totems this past weekend.

Tarantino continues to be one of the dominant goalies overall in the Premier, posting 18 wins (third place) and a .939 save percentage (also third).

Prior to junior hockey, Tarantino played for the San Jose Jr. Sharks and Golden State Elite Eagles.

— Joshua Boyd/

(February 12, 2023)

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