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The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced All-NAPHL First, Second and Third Teams in the 16U division for the 2017-18 season.
The Esmark Stars U16 AAA had two players, Kenny Vought and Ryan Hastings, selected to the All-NAPHL teams.
Vought was selected as the first-team Goaltender for the All-NAPHL 16U Team. In eight regular season NAPHL games and two NAPHL playoff games, he recorded a save percentage of .949, a goals against average (GAA) of 1.10 and a record of 7-2-0-1, including 4 shutouts, in 10 games played (8 regular season and 2 playoff appearances) and helped lead the Stars to a second place finish in the NAPHL regular season.
Overall, in 31 appearances, Vought recorded a save percentage of .925, a goals against average (GAA) of 1.44, recorded 7 shutouts and posted a record of 17-9-2-1, helping lead the U16 Stars to the Mid-American District Championship and a spot in the USA Hockey Tier I U16 National Championships.
Hastings, Captain of the U16 Stars, was selected as a third-team Defenseman to the All-NAPHL 16U Team. In 17 regular season NAPHL games and four NAPHL playoff games,, he tallied 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points, including 1 power play goal. He was also selected to play in the NAPHL U16 game where he scored a goal and helped lead Team East to a 5-4 win.
Overall, Hastings tallied 27 points (10 goals and 17 assists), including 5 power play goals, in 62 games played and led a defensive corp that helped lead the U16 Stars to the Mid-American District Championship and a spot in the USA Hockey Tier I U16 National Championships.
"I am very proud of both Kenny and Ryan," said Stars U16 head coach Yuri Krivokhija. "I admire their team-first mentality and am happy to see that they were recognized by our league for their efforts."
The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced its All-Academic Teams in the 15U, 16U and 18U divisions for the 2017-18 season.
Consideration and selection was based on classroom performance during the 2017-18 school year. To qualify for the All-NAPHL Academic Team, student-athletes, nominated by a coach, must have achieved high academic standards during the current school year.
(All-Academic Selection was limited to four maximum per team.)
Esmark Stars AAA players recognized as NAPHL Academic All-Stars for the 2017-18 school year, include:
U15 - Daniel Baranowski, Jensen Kubina, Joshua Martino, Mitchell Nanny
U16 - Ryder Brophy, Aden Bruich, Milan Cermak, Lane Ruffner
U18 - Antonio Binotto, Andrew Jacobs, Gavin Morrison and Oldrich Virag
The Esmark program submitted lists of names for consideration at all three levels that far exceeded the maximum of four allowed per member program at each level.
"I am very proud of the players selected as Academic All-Stars," said Stars 18U Head Coach and program General Manager Dave Kosick. "The time and dedication to be a high-end Tier I AAA player while maintaining superior excellence in the classroom is to be applauded."
"Whether you made the All-Academic Team or not, we salute and congratulate all of our student athletes who maintain academic excellence ... without seeking special exemption from the day-to-day requirements ... all while managing the rigors of playing elite travel hockey," Kosick added.
The Esmark Stars U16 AAA team, proud members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), are in Philadelphia, PA this weekend, April 5 - 10, 2018, for the USA Hockey Tier I National Championships.
The Stars, who captured the Mid-American District (Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania) Championship in Pittsburgh, March 9 - 11, will play three round-robin games in preliminary pool play.
The winners of each of USA Hockey's 12 Districts, plus four wild-card teams selected by USA Hockey, will vie for the right to call themselves "National Champions" over a grueling six days of competition.
First up, on Thursday, April 5, 12:45 p.m., will be the Boston Jr. Eagles out of Boston, MA. The Eagles, who are a member of the Eastern Hockey Federation (EHF) Elite Division, finished the season ranked 8th in the nation according to the website (www.myhockeyrankings.com) with a record of 29-4-0-0.
The Stars return to the ice on Friday, April 6, 12:45 p.m., against the Anaheim Jr. Ducks out of Boston, MA. The Ducks, who are a member of the Tier One Elite Hockey League (TOEHL), finished the season ranked 5th in the nation with a record of 45-3-0-5.
Esmark wraps up round-robin play in the 16 team field against the Chicago Young Americans out of Chicago, IL, on Saturday, April 7, at 10:45 a.m. CYA, who plays in the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL), finished the season ranked 10th in the nation with a record of 41-19-3-5.
"The boys fought hard to get to Nationals," said Stars U16 head coach Yuri Krivokhija. "We finished second in our league (NAPHL) regular season standings and then won the Mid-Am District Tournament. Hopefully we are peaking at the right time."
The Stars, who wrapped up the regular season with a 38-20-3-2 overall record, 16-4-0-1 NAPHL league record, join fellow NAPHL members Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede and Washington Little Capitals in the U16 field
"With a draw like this, the guys have a tough mountain to climb," offered Stars general manager Dave Kosick. "But I believe the coaching staff has the team ready to meet the challenge."
Following round-robin play, the top two teams in each of the tournaments four divisions of play will advance to the quarter-finals, to be held on Sunday, April 8. Winners of the quarter-finals will hook-up in the semi-finals on Monday, April 9. And the two semi-final winners will meet on Tuesday, April 10, to crown a National 16U Tier I Champion.
This is the second Krivokhija-lead Stars team to advance to the Tier I National Championships. Ten years ago, the 2007-08 Stars advanced to the Nationals as Mid-Am District Champions and completed round robin play undefeated and advanced to the quarter-finals as the number one seed for their six-team bracket, in what was then a 12- team tournament. The Stars quest for a National Championship that year was upended in the quarter-finals by the Colorado Thunderbirds.
All games in the 2017-18 USA Hockey U16 and U18 Tier I National Championships are being played at the Ice Line Quad Rinks in West Chester, PA.