The Esmark Stars U15 and U18 AAA Midget teams were in game action this past weekend (Sept. 14 & 15).
The U15 Stars opened their home schedule entertaining Palmyra at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena in a weekend set, which is part of a home and home series with the Black Knights. After falling behind 2-1 in the first period, and trailing 3-2 after two, the Stars surged to a 5-3 win in period three of the opening game on Saturday. Chase Williams found the back of the net twice and Zachary Hixon, Kowin Besterling and Owen Tutich each scored a goal for the Stars. Paul Postonak stopped 19 of 22 shots to earn the win in goal.
On Sunday, the two squads skated to a 2-2 tie as the Black Knights scored a late shorthanded goal to earn the push. Kirill Maslov and Chase Stormer scored the Stars goals. Fedor Tabako earned the tie in nets stopping 19 of 21 shots he faced.
The win and tie improved the U15 Stars record to 2-3-2-0 on the young season.
The U18 AAA Stars opened their road schedule with a pair of games at Shady Side Academy.
On Saturday evening, the Stars scored three third-period goals en route to a 4-1 win. Nikita Zapolski scored the game winner on the power play early in the third period. Eddie Pazo, Ryder Brophy and Gio Palombo would also collect goals, as the Stars outshot Shady Side 35-29 on the game. Danny Mitchell stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced to earn the win in goal.
On Sunday, the Stars and Shady Side skated to a 3-3 tie. After falling behind on a quick first period goal, the two squads would settle in for a rough and tumble game. The Stars knotted the game at 1-1 late in the second period on the power play as Nikita Zapolski tallied his fourth goal of the season in four games. Ryder Brophy would score twice in the third period to provide the Stars 2-1 and 3-2 leads. But after each goal, Shady Side was able to knock home an equalizer and earn the tie. Shady Side's final goal came on the power play with less than four minutes to play. Danny Mitchell kicked out 29 of 32 shots he faced in goal for Esmark. For the game, the Stars outshot Shady Side 37-32.
The win and tie improved the U18 Stars record to 3-0-1-0 on the young season.
The U16 AAA Stars (2-0-0-0) enjoyed the weekend off.
All three Esmark Stars Midget teams return to the ice this upcoming week as they kick-off North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) action, Sept. 19 - 22, at the first NAPHL Showcase of the season in Blaine, MN, at the Schwan's Super Rink.
In what has become know as the Greatest Show on Ice, the opening event of the season, held in conjunction with the annual NAHL Showcase, attracts over 9,000 people in overall attendance, including more than 330 professional, college and junior scouts. For scouting purposes, the NAHL Showcase is the premier event of its kind and is a yearly gathering for every NCAA program and NHL team as they get their first look at some of the best and brightest hockey talent North America has to offer.