The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey program kick's off the 2021-2022 season, its 38th season in operation, this weekend, Aug. 21 & 22, as the U11 Stars (2010 birth year) begin their inaugural season.
Esmark's U11 squad, under the direction of head coach CJ Stellabotte, open the '21-'22 schedule as they travel to Cleveland, OH, to face the Cleveland Barons in a pair of Saturday games.
The Stars and Barons Pee Wee Minor squads face off at the Barons Bus Arena in suburban Cleveland at 12:15 and 5:15 p.m.
Next weekend, Aug. 27 - 29, Esmark's U12, U13, U16 & U18 teams will begin their seasons..
The U16 & U18 Stars teams head to Bridgewater, NJ, for the inaugural Eastern Exposure Series Showcase (ESS), a four-game showcase event, Aug. 27 - 29.
Operated in conjunction with SuperSeries AAA, the EES Series is designed to showcase teams and players on the East Coast. The Stars are a founding member of the new showcase series.
"Our decision to participate in the EES was done to further increase our exposure to eastern Junior and NCAA clubs," said Stars GM Dave Kosick.
The Stars are also proud members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), the AAA affiliate league of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) Junior A league.
Also next weekend, the U12 and U13 Esmark Stars squads travel to Buffalo, NY, to open the season with a pair of road games against the Buffalo Jr Sabres U12 & U13 AAA squads.
Under the direction of head coach Mike Heltman, the U13 Stars will face the Jr Sabres in a pair of games on Saturday, Aug. 28,
The U12 Esmark Stars, under the direction of head coach Luke Kopchak, will square-off against the Sabres for a pair of games on Sunday, Aug. 29.
Now in its 38th year of operation, the Esmark Stars program is the oldest Tier I AAA program in the Mid-American District and one of the oldest Tier I programs under the USA Hockey umbrella.