The Esmark Stars U16 and U18 AAA squads were both in action this past weekend, Nov. 22-24.
The U16 Esmark Stars opened their 2019-2020 home schedule with a pair of games against the Indy Jr. Fuel.
On Friday evening, Nov. 22, the Stars blanked the Fuel 3-0 behind the shutout effort of Esmark goaltender Nathan Dickey. Prior to the game, both squads, along with Stars head coach Yuri Krivokhija, participated in a moving and emotional special presentation as the Esmark Stars AAA Hockey club held a ceremony and remembrance for Alina Sheykhet, a 20 year-old student at the University of Pittsburgh who was murdered on the Pitt campus in 2017. To honor Ms. Sheykhet, the Stars donned special purple uniforms featuring the logo of Alina's Foundation "Alina's Light" for the game.
The two 16U squads conclude the two-game set, the back end of a home and home series, on Saturday, Nov. 23, with the Stars securing a 7-0 blanking of the Jr. Fuel. Logan Marnik earned the shutout and win in goal.
The weekend sweep of the Jr. Fuel, improved the Stars 16U overall record to (19-10-0-1).
Meanwhile, the U18 Stars faced-off against the Gilmour Academy Lancers in a weekend home-and-home series.
On Saturday evening, the two clubs hooked-up on the campus of Gilmour Academy with the Stars skating to a 6-4 win. Ty Stewart (2G, 1A), Ed Pazo, John Camp, Alex Walker and Dominic Dezort scored for the Stars. Pazo's and one of Stewart's goals came on the power play as the Stars finished the game 2 for 5 with the man-advantage, while holding Gilmour off the board with the man-advantage (0 for 6). Corbin Ragno, Ryder Brophy and Dustin Geregach each added a pair of assists, while Luke Reiser picked up an assist. Connor Stroebel turned aside 32 of the 36 shots he faced to secure the win in goal.
On Sunday, Nov. 24, the two teams concluded the weekend series with a late-morning face-off at Pittsburgh Ice Arena that saw the Stars skate to a 6-3 win and sweep of the two-game set. Ryder Brophy (2G, 1A) scored twice on the power-play to pace the Stars attack. Ed Pazo (1G, 2A), Dustin Geregach (1G, 1A), Gio Palombo (1G, 1A), and Lane Ruffner also scored goals. Ruffner and Geregach's goals were also scored on the power play, as the Stars went 4 for 6 on the power-play, while Gilmour finished the game 0 for 6. Alex Walker (3A), Dominic Dezort and Ty Stewart picked up assists. And Danny Mitchell earned the win in goal, turning aside 30 of the 33 shots he faced.
With the weekend sweep, Esmark's U18 squad improved its overall record to (23-3-4-3).
The U15 Stars had an unscheduled weekend off as they recover from multiple injuries that have impacted their roster.
(photo courtesy Matt Kosick)