All three Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club midget teams (18U, 16U and 15U) were in action this past weekend, Feb. 19 - 21.
The 18U and 16U teams returned to Troy, MI for the fifth and final NAPHL Showcase of the 2018-19 season, the Dixon Cup NAPHL Championships.
In the U16 division, Esmark, who was pursuing their second NAPHL 16U AAA Dixon Cup in three years, as they captured the Cup at the 2016-2017 NAPHL Playoffs, opened the weekend with a Friday afternoon tilt against the Green Bay (WI) Gamblers. Trent Gray paced the Stars with a pair of goals as Stars defensemen found the back of the net four times (Jake Kazan and Reed Troutman also each scored a goal) in a 6-0 shutout win. Forwards Eddie Pazo (1G and 1A) and Ryder Brophy also collected goals. Connor Strobel turned aside all 18 shots he faced to earn the win and shutout in goal.
On Saturday, the U16 Stars took to the ice twice. First was an early morning game against the Florida Hockey Alliance. The Stars would move to 2-0-0-0 with a 5-1 win. Alex Walker scored twice and Daniel Pronin, Ryder Brophy, and John Camp each scored one goal to pace the Stars. Eddie Pazo recorded three assists. And Connor Strobel collected his second win of the playoffs turning aside 15 of 16 shots he faced.
Saturday afternoon the Stars completed round-robin play against the Sioux Falls (SD) Power AAA. Needing a win to move into the semi-finals, Esmark would drop a 5-2 decision to Sioux Falls. Trent Gray and Jake Kazan scored the Stars goals.
The Stars closed out the 2019 Dixon Cup Playoffs with a consolation game against the Valley Forge Minutemen on Sunday and skated to a 6-2 win. Daniel Pronin (2 goals), Matt Traczynski, Ryder Brophy, John Camp and Dominic Dezort scored for the Stars. Connor Strobel earned his third win of the playoffs in goal, stopping 16 of the 18 shots he faced.
With their 3-1-0-0 showing at the 2019 Dixon Cup Playoffs, the U16 Stars overall record improved to 27-17-2-2.
In the U18 division, Esmark, who was looking to repeat at Dixon Cup Champions following their capture of the Dixon Cup at the 2017-2018 NAPHL Playoffs, took to the ice twice on Friday. Opening up with the Colorado Springs Tigers in a late morning game, the Stars would skate to a 6-0 shutout win. Tyler Stewart and Oldrich Virag led the Stars as each scored a goal and added a pair of assists. Corbin Ragno, Cole Ferri, JT Schmizzi, and Jackson Dobbs also recorded goals. Gio Palombo recorded a pair of assists. And Danny Mitchell turned aside all 19 shots he faced to earn the win and shutout in goal.
The Stars return to action against the Florida Hockey Alliance early Friday evening and enjoyed an offensive explosion recording a 9-0 shutout win. Gio Palombo and Tyler Stewart each recorded four point games (2G and 2A); Raman Yerameichyk three points (2G and 1A); Matsvei Kurylovich (1G, 2A), Cole Ferri, (1G, 1A) and Oldrich Virag (1G, 1A) also scored for the Stars; and Billy Rapone recorded three assists to pace the offense. Parker Rey turned aside all 13 Florida shots he faced to earn the win and shutout in goal.
The 18Us completed round-robin play on Saturday afternoon against the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders. Similarly to the Stars 16U squad, the 18Us needed a win to advance to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Esmark would drop a tough 3-2 to Rocky Mountain. Blake Rossi and Matsvei Kurylovich scored for the Stars and Raman Yerameichyk and Anton Kotitskiy each picked up a pair of assists.
The Stars closed out the 2019 Dixon Cup Playoffs with a consolation game against the Soo Indians on Sunday and skated to a 6-2 win. Jackson Dobbs and Billy Rapone (1G, 1A) paced the Stars scoring attack. Blake Rossi, William Studt, Cole Ferri and Oldrich Virag also scored goals for the Stars. Parker Rey earned his second win of the playoffs in goal, stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced.
With their 3-1-0-0 showing at the 2019 Dixon Cup Playoffs, the U18 Stars overall record improved to 39-12-1-1.
The U15 Esmark Stars traveled to Sylvania, OH for a pair of road games on Saturday with the Sylvania North Stars. The two clubs skated to a 2-2 tie in the first game and the North Stars captured the nightcap, breaking open a 3-2 lead they held going into the third into a 7-2 win. The U15 AAA Esmark Stars overall record now stands at 23-15-3-5.