The Esmark Stars AAA hockey program traveled to Dallas, TX, this past holiday weekend, Feb. 12 - 15, to participate in the 2020-2021 NAPHL (North American Prospects Hockey League) Playoffs and chase the NAPHL's Dixon Cup.
The U15 Stars opened playoff action on Friday with a 6-0 shutout win over the Indy Jr. Fuel. Aiden Yakovich, Caden Lindo Canfield, Alex Thomas, Bill Kiray III, Luke Yost and Marcel Gataulin all scored goals for the Stars. Nathan Burlando (2A), Jonathan Burkhart (2A), and Rory Shegan Siniawski picked up assists. Ian Amaranto picked up the win and shutout in goal, stopping all nine shots he faced.
On Saturday, the U15 Stars grabbed a 5-2 win over Meijer AAA. Joshua Coffee (2G), Billy Kiray III (1G, 2A), Zakary Wilcox (1G, 1A), and Marcel Gataulin all scored goals. Nathan Burlando, Aiden Yakovich, and Luke Yost added assists. Andrew Krakora stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced to earn the win in goal.
The U15 Stars closed round-robin play on Sunday morning with a 6-2 win over the Des Moines Jr Buccaneers. Zakary Wilcox (1G, 2A), Billy Kiray III (1G, 1A), Rory Shegan Siniawski (1G, 1A), Caden Lindo Canfield, Jonathan Burkhart and Luke Yost scored goals. Marcel Gataulin (2A), Joshua Coffee (2A), Nathan Burlando, Braden Burkey, and Aiden Tarasovich picked up assists. Ian Amaranto picked up the win in goal, stopping 15 of the 17 shots he faced.
Having captured their bracket, the U15 Stars advanced to the U15 semi-final action Sunday evening where they grabbed a 2-1 double overtime thriller over the Tri-State Spartans. Aiden Yakovich gave the Stars a 1-0 lead six minutes into the third period. However, Tri-State would score the tying goal a little over a minute later and the score would remain knotted through regulation and a five-minute five-on-five overtime. Almost three minutes into the second overtime, 3-on-3, Marcel Gataulin would send the Stars into the U15 Championship game, off an assist from Nathan Burlando. Andrew Krakora stopped 11 of the 12 shots he faced to earn the win in goal.
The OT win moved the U15 Stars into the NAPHL's U15 Dixon Cup Finals where they would drop a tough 4-1 decision to CarShield AAA in a game delayed several times due to rolling blackouts in the Dallas area that was eventually called with almost seven minutes remaining in the third period. Aiden Yakovich scored the lone Stars goal with an assist to Alex Thomas. Ian Amaranto suffered the loss in goal, despite stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced. The game was tied 1-1 through the half before CarShield scored a goal , that would turn out to be the game-winner, late in the second period and add two more in the third period, around lengthy stoppages to claim the win and Dixon Cup.
The (4-1-0-0) showing in Dallas improves the U15 Stars overall record to (26-20-2-1).
The U16 Stars opened playoff action on Friday with a 18-0 pounding of the Northeast Generals. Austin Peterson (4G, 4A) led the offensive explosion. Demian Tychenko (2G, 4A), Zachary Hixon (2G, 1A), Derek Pietrzyk (2G, 1A), Chase Williams (2G), Liam McClaine (1G, 2A), Jacob Meier ( 1G, 2A), Ilia Zhdanov (1G, 1A), Shane Kozlina (1G, 1A), Milan Levcenko and Sebastian Vogt all scored goals. Brody Simko (4A), Tristan Lloyd (3A), Logan Scanlon and Owen Tutich picked up assists. Blaise Becker picked up the win and shutout in goal.
On Saturday morning, the U16 Stars grabbed a 6-1 win over the Ontario Jr Reign. Austin Peterson (2G), Demian Tychenko (1G, 1A), Logan Scanlon (1G, 1A), Derek Pietrzyk, and Tristan Lloyd scored goals. Liam McClaine (2A), Joey Pankowski (2A), Zachary Hixon, Ilya Zhdanov and Sebastian Vogt picked up assists. Blaise Becker picked up the win, his second straight shutout of the Playoffs and eighth of the season, in goal.
The U16 Stars closed round-robin play Saturday evening with a 4-1 win over the Indy Jr Fuel. Logan Scanlon (1G, 1A), Derek Pietrzyk, Milan Levcenko, and Shane Kozlina scored goals. Demian Tychenko, Owen Tutich, Tristan Lloyd and Jacob Meier picked up assists. Nikita Volski stopped 21 of 22 shots he faced to earn the win in goal.
The Stars, who claimed their division with a perfect (3-0-0-0) round-robin record, moved on to the league's quarter-finals, where they would grab a 5-2 win over the Arizona Bobcats on Sunday morning. Demian Tychenko (2G), Derek Pietrzyk (1G, 2A), Austin Peterson and Owen Tutich scored for the Stars. Logan Scanlon, Tristan Lloyd, Chase Williams and Brody Simko picked up assists. Nikita Volski stopped 26 of 28 he faced to earn the win in goal.
The quarter-final win moved the Stars into the 16U Division semi-finals Sunday afternoon, where they would drop a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to the Northstar Christian Knights in a shootout, after two scoreless overtimes. Derek Pietrzyk scored the Stars first goal, with assists to Sebastian Vogt and Logan Scanlon, to knot the game at 1-1 with three seconds remaining in the opening period. Scanlon would then go on to knot the score at 2-2 with less than a minute remaining in regulation, on an assist from Chase Williams, as he collected a power-play goal while the Stars were on the power play and had their goaltender pulled for a 6-on-4 man advantage. The two clubs skated through two scoreless overtimes, 5-on-5 and then 3-on-3, they then went eight players deep in a sudden-death shootout before Northstar collected their second goal of the shootout to win the game. Milan Levcenko scored in the fifth round of the sudden-death shootout, but Northstar matched his goal with their fifth round shot. Nikita Volski suffered the loss in goal despite stopping 31 of 33 shots he faced in regulation and double overtime, as well as six of the eight shots he faced in the shootout.
The (4-0-0-1) showing in Dallas improves the U16 Stars overall record to (28-15-3-1).
The U18 Stars opened playoff action on Friday with a 8-2 win over the Northeast Generals. Yahor Ramanau (2G, 3A) paced the Stars offensive attack. Hunter Fairmain (1G, 2A), Shane Miller (1G, 2A), Adis Ultanbekov (1G, 1A), Keith Smilowitz (1G, 1A) and Michael Felsing also scored goals for the Stars. Regan Kallis (3A), Cole Mitchell, Zachary Stoner, Ethan Zupanc and Ed Pazo added assists. Nathan Dickey picked up the win in goal, stopping 14 of 16 shots he faced.
Later Friday evening the Stars grabbed a 7-1 win over the Tri-State Spartans. Michael Felsing (3G, 1A) scored a hat-trick to lead the Stars offensive attack. Keith Smilowitz (2G), Yahor Ramanau (1G, 1A) and John Camp also scored goals. Ed Pazo (3A), Ryder Brophy (2A), Adis Ulatanbekov (2A), Zachary Stoner (2A), Brayden Morgan and Ethan Zupanc added assists. Connor Strobel earned the win in goal, stopping 29 of 30 shots he faced.
On Saturday, the Stars close round-robin play with a 3-2 win over the Indy Jr Fuel. Adis Ultanbekov, Ryder Brophy and Brayden Morgan scored goals for the Stars ... with Morgan collecting the game-winner on a short-handed breakaway late in the third period. Keith Smilowitz, Zachary Stoner, Michael Felsing and Ed Pazo picked up assists. Nathan Dickey grabbed the win in goal, turning aside 19 of 21 shots he faced.
The Stars, who claimed their playoff division with a perfect (3-0-0-0) round-robin record, moved on to the league's quarter-finals where they would grab a 2-1 win over the then #12 ranked in the nation (www.myhockeyrankings.com) Car Shield AAA, Sunday early afternoon. Dominic Dezort scored both Stars goals as the Stars overcame a 1-0 CarShield lead with two third period goals. John Camp and Ethan Zupanc picked up assists on Dezort's first goal. Dezort would then collect the game-winner, unassisted, son a short-side, bar down shot off a face-off midway through the third period. Connor Strobel stopped 34 of 35 shots he faced to earn the win in goal.
The quarter-final win moved the Stars into the 18U Division semi-finals Sunday night where they would drop a 5-0 decision to the Northstar Christian Knights, the nation's #7 ranked team (www.myhockeyrankings.com). Nathan Dickey and Connor Strobel both saw action in goal, with Dickey suffering the loss.
The (4-1-0-0) showing in Dallas improves the U18 Stars overall record to (36-14-4-0).
The U12 Esmark Stars enjoyed an unexpected weekend off after their games with the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets were cancelled.