California Rubber

California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

Trio of California products earn monthly honors from USPHL


The USPHL has announced its Players of the Month for January, and three California natives made the cut.

Ogden Mustangs forward Jake Meure (Fremont) is the Premier Mountain Division Forward of the Month, while Vernal Oilers goalie Antonio Tarantino (Fremont) is the Premier Northwest Division Goaltender of the Month and Northern Cyclones forward Josh Bruno (Los Angeles) is the Elite North Division Forward of the Month.

The #Meurewatch is on in Ogden as the San Jose Jr. Sharks product left January within 15 points of the league’s all-time scoring record. If he scores in February like he did in January, grabbing that record won’t be an issue.

The Buffalo State College (NCAA Division III) commit notched at least a point in 10 of 11 games and closed the month on a seven-game point streak, punctuated by his fifth hat trick of the season on Jan. 15 vs. Pueblo. He finished the month with an overpowering 21 points (8-13-21) in 11 games and is currently tied for fifth in the league in overall scoring with 82 points (40-42-82) in 41 games.

You can’t keep a good goalie down, and Tarantino just keeps racking up the big honors.

He stopped 169 of 180 shots for a 2-0-1-1 record during the month of January for a .939 save percentage. The Premier veteran goalie put up a 36-save shutout over Rock Springs, and he stopped 58 of 62 in an overtime loss to Ogden. He has lost just once in regulation and is 17-1-1-2 overall this year and 25-4-1-2 overall.

Back home, Tarantino played for the Jr. Sharks and Golden State Elite Eagles.

Bruno led the way for the Cyclones – and the North Division – with the division’s best points per game average of 2.00 with 20 points in just 10 games, and he also led the way for the division last month in goals with 10.

Bruno put on a show scoring 14 points in his last five games of the month and he now stands sixth in Elite league scoring with 56 points in 35 games. He is also sixth in goals with 26.

During youth hockey, Bruno played for the Empire Hockey Club, Orange County Hockey Club, and the Los Angeles Jr. Kings.

— Joshua Boyd & Brendan Price/

(February 7, 2023)

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