The U18 and U15 AAA Esmark Stars return to the friendly confines of Pittsburgh Ice Arena, each as part of a home and home series, this upcoming weekend, Nov. 18 & 19.
The U18 Stars square-off with the Gilmour Academy Lancers. The two teams meet at Gilmour Academy on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 3:00 p.m., and then at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 11:00 a.m. face-off.
The U15 Stars face-off against the Pittsburgh Predators. The Saturday, Nov. 18 game will be at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena, opening face-off at 6:00 p.m., and the Sunday return game at the Ice Castle Arena, 11:00 a.m.
Both games at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena are free and Stars fans are encouraged to attend.
The U16, U14 and U12 Stars will enjoy an off-weekend.
This past weekend, Nov. 10-13, 2017, the Esmark Stars AAA 18U and 16U Midget teams were in Troy, MI, for the third NAPHL league showcase of the season; while the U14 Stars welcomed the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets to Pittsburgh Ice Arena for a pair of home games; and the U12 Stars travel to Columbus for a pair of road games.
The U18 Stars completed the third league showcase with a 3-1-0-1 record, skating to wins in their first three games against the New Jersey Jr. Titans (4-1), Little Caesar's (4-3 in a OT/shootout classic), and the Arizona Bobcats (6-2). The Stars dropped their fourth game (2-3) in another overtime/shootout contest, and dropped their final game of the showcase to the Rocky Mountain Rough Riders (2-4). The Showcase improved the Stars NAPHL record to (5-2-0-3) and their overall record to (15-10-0-5).
The U16 Stars, who entered the event tied for first in the U16 NAPHL standings and riding a nine-game winning streak, completed the third NAPHL Showcase with a 3-2-0-0 record. After skating past Meijer AAA (MI), 2-1 in the opening game and running their winning streak to 10 games, the U16s were upended by the Everett Silver Tips (WA), 2-1, in their second game in Troy. The U16s would return to the win column in games three and four, skating past the Washington Little Capitols, 2-0, and HC Dallas (TX), 3-1, before dropping the showcase finale to Car Shield AAA (MO), 5-4. The Showcase improved the U16 Stars NAPHL record to (7-2-0-0) and their overall record to (16-9-1-0).
Two regular season events remain on the NAPHL schedule, NAPHL IV, Dec. 2-4, in Blaine, MN, and NAPHL V, Jan. 27 - 29, 2018, in Blaine, MN. And the North American Prospects Hockey League Playoffs and the chase for the Dixon Cup will occur Feb. 17 - 20, 2018, back in Troy, MI.
Meanwhile, the U14 Stars welcomed the AAA Blue Jackets to Pittsburgh for the backend of a home and home series. The two squads split the season-ending series, with the Blue Jackets grabbing the opening game, 5-1, and the Stars game two, 2-1. The U14 Stars overall record stands at 17-12-2-1 as they head into the Thanksgiving break.
The U12 Stars began the front end of a home and home series with the Pee Wee AAA Blue Jackets in Columbus. The Blue Jackets were victorious in both games. The U12 Stars will also head into the Thanksgiving break.
Next weekend, Nov. 24 - 26, the U16 Stars travel to South Bend, IN, and historic Notre Dame University to participate in the STX Tournament. They will face the Columbia Cyclones SE, Philadelphia Little Flyers, Little Caesar's, Alaska Oilers, and Delta Hockey Academy in three-days of exciting Thanksgiving Tournament action.