The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey program had a pair of its midget teams (U18 and U15) in action over this past Halloween weekend, Oct. 31 & Nov. 1.
The U15 Stars played host to the "Pittsburgh U15 Showcase" at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena as they welcomed the Mercer Chiefs, Tri-State Spartans, and the Montgomery Blue Devils to Pittsburgh for a Halloween weekend showcase.
The U15 Stars opened play Saturday dropping a 3-2 decision to the Mercer Chiefs. Nathan Burlando scored both Stars goals, including one on the powerplay, and Aiden Tarasovich and Billy Kiray III picked up assists. Andrew Krakora suffered the loss in goal.
Esmark's U15 squad returned to the ice Saturday evening, and skated to a 4-1 win over Mid-Am rival the Tri-State Spartans. Caden Lindo Canfield, Rory Shegan Siniawski, Luke Yost and Nathan Burlando all found the back of the net for the Stars. Jonathan Burkhart, Joshua Coffee, Alex Thomas and Billy Kiray III all picked up assists. Ian Amaranto picked up the win in goal, stopping 15 of 16 Spartan shots.
The Stars closed round-robin play on Sunday morning, skating to a 3-2 win over the nations #13 16U AA team, the Montgomery Blue Devils, a late replacement team for a team that pulled out due to health concerns. Nathan Burlando scored for the third straight game as he rifled home a wicked wrist shot with three second left in regulation to send the Stars to victory. Aiden Yakovich and Marsal Gataulin also scored for the Stars. Davis Phanco and Billy Kiray III picked up assists. Andrew Krakora earned the win in goal, as the Stars outshot the Blue Devils 31-13 for the game.
With a (2-1-0-0) round robin record, the Stars advanced to match play as the number 1 seed and drew the Tri-State Spartans in the 1 vs 2 game to close the Showcase. Esmark's U15 squad would put on a pretty dominant performance and skate to a 5-0 shutout win. Billy Kiray III who led the offense as he scored a pair of goals (2G, 1A) and Nathan Burlando (1G, 2A) both continued their hot hands, as both players recorded points in all four showcase games ... Burlando scoring goals in all four. Luke Yost and Caden Lindo Canfield also scored for the Stars. Aiden Tarasovich recorded three assists. Ian Amaranto earned the win and shutout in goal, as the Stars outshot the Spartans 41-7 for the game.
The (3-1-0-0) showing improved the U15 Stars overall record to (11-10-0-1).
Meanwhile, the U18 AAA Stars (9-5-0-1) traveled to York, PA, for a weekend series with the U18 York Skipjacks AAA club where they picked up 5-2 and 6-2 wins over the USPHL powerhouse club.
On Saturday, the Stars and Skipjacks faced off on a Halloween night game which the Stars grabbed 5-2. John Camp paced the offense (2G, 1A) scoring a pair of goals. Adis Ultanbekov (1G, 2A), Michael Felsing and Ryder Brophy also scored goals. Yahor Ramanau, Justin Mettrick, Liam Varmecky, Cole Mitchell, Keith Smilowitz, Dominic Dezort and Ed Pazo all earned assists. Nathan Dickey earned the win in goal, stopping 23 of the 25 shots he faced s the Stars outshot the Skipjacks 30-25.
The two clubs closed the weekend series on Sunday as the Stars skated to a 6-2 win. Zachary Stoner (1G, 1A), John Camp (1G, 1A), Regan Kallis (1G, 1A), Michael Felsing (1G, 1A), Cole Mitchell and Justin Mettrick scored the Stars goals. Hunter Fairman, Shane Miller, Brayden Morgan, Keith Smilowitz, Yahor Ramanau and Ed Pazo all recorded assists. Ethan Isaly stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced to earn the win in goal. The Stars special teams units were put to challenge as they killed 8 of the 9 Skipjacks power play opportunities, including two extended 5 on 3 power plays. Esmark's power play was 0 for 3 with the man-advantage. For the game, the Stars outshot the Skipjacks 35-30
The weekend road sweep improves the U18 Stars overall record to (11-5-1-0).
The U16 Stars weekend series with the U16 Skipjacks AAA was postponed due to health concerns with the Skipjacks. The U12 Esmark Stars team enjoyed an unexpected weekend off as a tournament they were scheduled to participate in was cancelled, also due to health concerns.