The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey midget teams opened the 2020 portion of the 2019-2020 schedule this past weekend, Jan. 4 - 5, as they return to action following the holiday break.
The U15 Stars traveled to Annville, PA, to pay a visit to the Palmyra Black Knights for a pair of games, the conclusion of their season home-and-home series. The Stars and Knights would split the weekend series as the Knights captured the Saturday game, 6-1, and the Stars the finale, on Sunday, 3-0, at the Kiick Arena.
On Saturday, Owen Tutich scored the lone Stars goal. Fedor Tabako suffered the loss in goal, allowing four goals before being replaced by Paul Potosnak, who allowed the final two Palmyra goals.
On Sunday Niven Delano paced the Stars offense, scoring a pair of goals. Logan Scanlon tallied the other Stars marker. Ty Rickabaugh collected a pair of assists, and Zach Hixon, Derek Pietrzyk, Jacob Meier, and Sebastian Vogt all recorded assists. Paul Potosnak stopped all 25 Black Knight shots he faced to record the shut-out and win in goal.
The weekend split, which allowed the Stars to capture the season series (2-1-1-0), leaves the 15U AAA Stars with an overall record of (16-16-2-1) heading into the Motor City Winter Classic in Detroit this upcoming weekend, Jan. 10-12, 2020.
Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the U16 Stars welcomed Mid-American District rival Cleveland Barons to the friendly confines of Pittsburgh Ice Arena to close out the backend of their season home-and-home series.
On Saturday, the Baron's would strike first, but the Stars would grab a pair of second period goals and hold on for a 2-1 win. Nathan Dickey earned the win in goal for the Stars.
On Sunday, the Stars would strike first, but Cleveland was able to erase the Stars lead and earn a weekend split with a 4-2 win. Logan Marnik suffered the loss in goal.
The weekend split leaves the overall season series deadlocked (2-2-0-0) between the clubs, and leaves the 16U AAA Stars with an overall record of (27-15-0-1) heading into the Motor City Winter Classic in Detroit this upcoming weekend, Jan. 10-12, 2020.
Likewise, the U18 Stars welcomed the Cleveland Barons to Pittsburgh to close out the backend of their season's home-and-home series.
On Saturday, the U18 Stars would jump out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of second period goals as Ryder Brophy, on the power play, and Trent Gray found the back of the net. Cleveland would cut the lead to one with a third period goal, but Stars goaltender Conor Strobel slammed the door shut the remainder of the game, and the Stars would skate to a 2-1 win. Corbin Ragno, Ed Pazo, Lane Ruffner and Alex Walker collected assists for the Stars Midget Major club. While Strobel would stop 21 of 22 Barons shots he faced in earning the win in goal. The Stars outshot the Barons 30-22 for the game.
On Sunday, the Stars would prevail 5-3 over the Barons to complete a sweep of the home weekend and season series. Tyler Stewart led the way for the Stars collecting a pair of goals, including one on the power play. Dustin Geregach (1G, 1A), would also add a power play goal, and Dalton Swartz and Ed Pazo would ring up goals for the Stars. Gio Palombo (2A), Trent Gray, Luke Reiser, Corbin Ragno, Ryder Brophy, Lane Ruffner and Jon Michaels earned assists. Goaltender Danny Mitchell would collect the win in goal, stopping 19 of the 22 shots he faced. For the game, the Stars outshot the Barons 43-22.
The weekend sweep improves the Stars overall record to (33-3-4-3). The U18 Stars return to action this upcoming weekend, Jan. 10-12, 2020, at the Motor City Winter Classic in Detroit.