This past Veteran's Day Weekend, Nov. 9 - 12, the 15U, 16U and 18U Esmark Stars AAA Hockey teams returned to the ice for the third North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) Showcase of the 2018-19 season, in Dallas, TX.
The U15 Stars skated to a 2-2-0-0 record at the event. They opened the showcase with a pair of shutout wins on Friday, as they skated to past CarShield AAA (2-0) and the Sioux Falls Power (1-0). Liam Varmecky (with an assist to Yahor Ramanau) and Alex Keller (from Alex Radchenko) depositing pucks into the net in the win over CarShield AAA; and Connor Quish, with Keller picking up the assist, tallied the lone marker in the 1-0 win over Sioux Falls. Nathan Dickey earned both wins in goal, turning aside all 18 CarShield AAA and 29 Sioux Falls shots he faced. The Stars dropped a 5-1 decision to the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders on Saturday. Connor Quish recoded the lone Stars goal on the power play, with Shane Miller getting the assist. The U15 Stars closed out the showcase dropping a tough 2-1 decision to Meijer AAA on Sunday. Andreas Portugallo scored the Stars goal with Alex Keller and Cam Szazynski getting assists.
The U15s, who will enjoy a nice Thanksgiving break before returning to the ice Nov. 30 at the ECEL Holiday Classic in Northford, CT, concluded the NAPHL 15U season with a record of 6-5-0-1. Their overall record now stands at 13-9-2-1.
The U15 Stars also qualified for and will be participating in the NAPHL U15 Dixon Cup Playoffs which will be held in Troy, MI, Jan. 18-20, 2019.
The U16 Stars, who would skate to a 1-3-0-0 record at the Dallas NAPHL event, opened the Showcase with a 6-3 win over the Arizona Bobcats on Saturday. Dominic Dezort paced the Stars scoring a pair of power play goals, while Ryder Brophy had a goal and an assist. Ty Ulanowicz, Eddie Pazo, and Daniel Pronin also tallied goals. Jake Kazan and Luke Reiser recorded assists. Connor Strobel earned the win in goal.
In their second game on Friday, the U16 squad dropped a hard fought 4-3 decision to the Dallas Stars Elite thanks in part to a phantom goal call. Dezort, Alex Walker and Ulanowicz scored the Stars goals. While Reed Troutman recorded a pair of assists and Brophy and Kazan each picked up one assist.
The 16Us would come up on the wrong end of a 6-2 decision to Meijer AAA on Sunday, as Brophy and Dezort recorded the Stars goals while Owen Hixon picked up an assist.
The Stars closed out the Dallas Showcase dropping a a 3-2 decision to CarShield AAA on Monday. Hixon and Walker scored the Esmark goals and Matt Traczynski, Pronin, Dezort and Daniel Baranowski added assists.
The U16 Stars NAPHL Showcase record now stands at 6-5-0-1 and their overall record at 12-10-2-1. The U16s return to the home confines of Pittsburgh Ice Arena this weekend (Nov. 17 & 18) to host a weekend series with the USPHLs Skipjacks AAA Hockey Club.
The U18 Stars, who would skate to a 3-1-0-0 record at the Dallas NAPHL event, opened the Showcase with a 12-0 win over the Arizona Bobcats on Saturday. Matsvei Kurlovich recorded a hat-trick and a pair of assists and Dustin Geregach scored one goal and added four assists to each pace the Stars with five points. While Will Studt and Tyler Stewart each scored a pair of goals, and added an assist, and Gio Palumbo (1 goal, 2 assists) and Cole Ferri (3 assists) all recording three point efforts. Also getting on the scoresheet were: Corbin Ragno (1 goal, 1 assist), Jackson Dobbs (1 goal), Blake Rossi (1 goal, 1 assist), JT Schmizzi (2 assists), and Louis Poprocky, Andrew Jacobs, Raman Yerameichyk, Alexi Mance, Anton Kozitskiy and Billy Rapone recorded one assist each. Danny Mitchell earned the shutout and win in goal for the Stars.
On Sunday, the Stars skated to a pair of wins, recording a 2-1 overtime shootout win against CarShield AAA. Yerameichyk scored the lone regulation time goal for Esmark with Jacobs getting the assist. Gio Palumbo scored the game winning shootout goal. Parker Rey earned the win in goal stopping 31 of 32 shots he faced in regulation and overtime as well as two shootout shots. The Stars returned to the ice Sunday evening to face the Madison Capitols and skated to a 6-3 victory. Tyler Stewart scored a pair of goals to lead the Stars. Geregach, Schmizzi and Kurylovich each scored a goal and added an assist to record two-point nights. Studt tallied the other Stars goal. Rapone and Yerameichyk each recorded a pair of assists while Jacobs, Kozitskiy, Palumbo, Dobbs and Rossi each recorded an assist. Mitchell earned the win in goal and improved his NAPHL record to 6-0-0-0.
The Stars closed out the event looking for a win, and a perfect 4-0-0-0 record at the Showcase, but ran into a hot Meijer AAA team and dropped a 3-1 decision. JT Schmizzi scored the lone, unassisted, Stars goal in the third period to cut the deficit to 2-1. But Meijer would record a late shorthanded goal to get the win and final margin of victory.
The U18 Stars NAPHL Showcase record now stands at 7-5-0-0 and their overall record at 19-7-1-1. The U18s also return to the home confines of Pittsburgh Ice Arena this weekend (Nov. 17 & 18) to host a weekend series with the USPHLs Skipjacks AAA Hockey Club.