The Esmark Stars Hockey U18 AAA team traveled to Nashville, TN, this past weekend, April 2-4, to participate in the TPH Tournament Series.
The U18 Stars opened showcase play on Friday, with a 2-2 tie against the Nashville Jr Predators, the nation's #9 ranked team. After falling behind 1-0 after one period and 2-0 after two periods, the Stars scored twice in the final frame to knot the score at 2-2. Yahor Ramanau, shorthanded, and Adis Ultanbekov, scored the Esmark goals. John Camp, Keith Smilowitz, Shane Miller and Dominic Dezort picked up assists. Nathan Dickey earned the tie in goal, stopping 30 of the 32 Predator shots he faced.
On Saturday, the Stars returned to the ice and skated to a 6-1 win over the San Jose Jr Sharks. Shane Miller led the offense with a pair of goals and an assist. Michael Felsing (1G, 2A), Liam Varmecky, Adis Ultanbekov and Ed Pazo also scored goals. Felsing's while the Stars were shorthanded and Pazo's while the Stars were on the power play. Hunter Fairmain (2A), Ryder Brophy (2A), Yahor Ramanau, John Camp, Keith Smilowitz, Ethan Zupanc and Regan Kallis picked up assists. Connor Strobel picked up the win in goal, turning aside 19 of the 20 San Jose shots he saw.
The Midget Major Stars closed the event on Sunday with a 3-3 tie against Culver Academy, the Nation's #7 ranked team. John Camp (1G, 1A), Michael Felsing and Dominic Dezort scored goals for the Stars, who held a 3-1 lead with six minutes remaining in regulation. Culver would score a pair of power play goals in the final six minutes, one on a 5-on-3 and the second on a different power play and a 6-on-4 man-advantage, with a pulled goaltender, to force the tie. Ethan Zupanc (2A), Yahor Ramanau, Adis Ultanbekov, and Keith Smilowitz picked up assists. Nathan Dickey earned his second tie of the Showcase in goal, stopping 28 of the 31 Culver shots he saw.
The (1-0-2-0) showing in Nashville improves the U18 AAA Esmark Stars overall record to (43-18-7-0) .
The Stars U16, U15 and U12 teams have previously completed their 2020-2021 seasons.