Tampa, FL - The Esmark Stars AAA U15 (only) Midget squad captured the inaugural championship of the Elite Prospects Cup Series in Tampa, FL, this past weekend.
The Stars skated to a 3-1-0-0 record in round-robin play to earn a spot in the event's semi-finals, where they would upended the Syracuse Nationals, 6-1, who had beaten the Stars in an earlier round-robin game, to advance to the Series Championship game.
In the EPCS Championship Game, the Stars emerged with a 4-1 win over the Westchester Express, in another repeat game from round-robin play, to claim the first ever EPCS Championship in the U15(O) Division.
The Stars opened play with a 4-3 overtime win over the Express on Thursday, Jan 26 at the Ellenton Ice Complex in Ellenton, FL. Ethan Buranovsky, Tripp Goehring and Aiden Moskovitz all scored in regulation, including a pair of late third period goals to force overtime, where Marshall Hewitt would collect the overtime game winner. Tyler Hayley was the winning goaltender.
Later Thursday evening, the Stars returned to the ice and skated to a 5-4 overtime win over the Mercer Chiefs at the AdventHealth Ice Center in Wesley Chapel, FL. Nino DiPietro, Ian Morganti, Marshall Hewitt and Liam Mahoney all scored goals in regulation, including a pair of third period goals to force overtime, where Emmet McClaine scored the game winning goal. Kyle McLaughlin was the winning goaltender.
The Stars grabbed their third win of round-robin with a 3-2 win over Boston-based American Hockey Academy at the Ellenton Ice Complex on Friday. Emmet McClaine (2G) and Marshall Hewitt scored the Stars goals. Kyle McLaughlin was the winning goaltender.
Esmark would drop their final round-robin game, to Syracuse, 4-3, on Saturday back at the Ellenton Ice Complex, but would advance to the event's playoff semi-finals back. Joey Vecchio, Liam Mahoney and Vitalii Ulianov scored for the Stars.
In their semi-final rematch with Syracuse, at the AdventHealth Ice Center on Sunday morning, the Stars skated to a 6-1 win, and earned a spot in the event's championship game. Vitalii Ulianov (2G), Ethan Buranovsky, Marshall Hewitt, Vladyslav Bomaziuk and Nino DiPietro all scored for the Stars. Kyle McLaughlin was the winning goaltender.
In the championship game, the Stars skated to a 4-1 win over the Express. Luke Mink, Nino DiPietro, Cameron Stern and Emmet McClaine all scored goals. Tyler Haley was the winning goaltender.
Esmark's U16 squad also advanced to the EPCS Championship game with a perfect 5-0-0-0 record, but dropped a 4-2 decision to the Philadelphia Jr Flyers in the championship game of the U16 Division.
The 18U Esmark squad advanced to the event's semi-finals with a 3-0-1-0 record, but would drop a 3-0 decision to the Philadelphia Jr Flyers in the semi-finals.