The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club, proud members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), are pleased to announce that former Esmark forward Parker Brown has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Air Force Falcons of the Atlantic Hockey Conference.
Brown a Hanahan, SC, native, skated for the 18U AAA Esmark Stars during the 2017-18 season, during which he registered 57 points (21 goals and 36 assists) in 61 games played. Those numbers included 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) in 23 games in NAPHL action.
He signed a tender with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) during his 18U season for Esmark.
During his 2018-2019 campaign with Fairbanks, his rookie season, Brown (160 lbs., 5’9"), registered 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 57 regular season games and helped lead the Ice Dogs to first place in the Mid-West Division.
“I was extremely excited to hear Brownie committed to Air Force,” said Esmark Stars U18 head coach Dave Kosick. "He has world-class skating ability and always comes to the rink prepared to play."
Brown becomes the 9th Ice Dog this season to commit to play Div I NCAA Hockey next season.
Brown will join former Esmark defenseman Carter Ekberg in Colorado Springs. Ekberg, who tendered with the Janesville Jets, during his 18U season with the Stars, committed to the Air Force Academy last season and appeared in 27 games with the Falcons during his freshman year last season.
"Much like Carter, Parker will be a great addition to the Air Force roster," Kosick said. "He is a solid young man ... on and off the ice."
The Falcons play at the nearly 2,500-seat Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs, CO. Head coach Frank Serratore has held the reigns since 1997, and two seasons ago joined a group of just 22 with his 400th career NCAA Division I win.
With his NCAA D-I commitment secured, Brown can now focus on helping the Ice Dogs drive for a long playoff run.
Four members of the 2018-2019 Esmark Stars U18 AAA club, that captured the Mid-American District U18 Tier Championship and advanced to the U18 Tier National Championships, played prominent roles in helping Team Pittsburgh capture the 2019 America's Showcase St. Louis Tournament in St. Louis, MO.
Forwards Corbin Ragno and Olda Virag, and defenseman Dustin Geregach and Andrew Jacobs all celebrated the team's 9-2 blowout victory over Team Texas to claim the championship and close out a 6-0-0-0 run to the tournament title.
Pittsburgh opened the tournament skating past Team Midwest, 10-0, as Virag recorded two goals and an assist, Jacobs two goals, Ragno one goal and Geregach one assist. Next up was a blowout win over Team Colorado Burgundy, 11-2, as Virag scored a goal and added three assists, Geregach, one goal and two assists, and Ragno two assists. Team Pittsburgh closed out round-robin play with a 5-0 shutout win over Team Missouri Blue, as Geregach scored a goal and Virag added a pair of assists.
Coming out of round-robin play, Pittsburgh secured the number one seed from their bracket.
In quarter-final play, Team Pittsburgh routed Team North Dakota, 15-1, as Ragno recorded one goal and one assist; Virag, one goal; Geregach two assists; and and Jacobs one assist.
In semi-final action, Team Pittsburgh skated to a 4-0 shutout win over Team Wisconsin. Geregach and Ragno each scored a goal; Virag added three assists; and Jacobs one assist.
In the championship, Virag would score two goals and two assists; Ragno would score one goal; and Geregach would add a pair of assists.
Virag was selected as the tournament MVP, collecting 17 points (6 goals and 11 assists) and leading all scorers at the tournament.
The Esmark Stars, and its predecessor programs, have always afforded their players an opportunity to compete on both the national Tier I level and the local high school hockey level ... something unique to most area and national Tier I programs.
America's Showcase was founded in 1985 to provide the nation’s premier high school players an opportunity to be scouted by high-level programs so those players who participate may further their hockey careers in prep school, juniors, college, and beyond.
The current five-day showcase consists of boys and girls divisions represented by 20 boys teams and 10 girls teams from across the country that gives scouts opportunities to recruit from the wealth of talent on the ice.
This season the tournament returned to St. Louis, MO, and St. Peter's Rec-Plex served as the home rink.
The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced the All-NAPHL 18U Team - High Performance Division - for the 2018-19 season and two Esmark Stars forwards, Olda Virag and Tyler Stewart, were selected.
In 16 regular season NAPHL games and four NAPHL playoff games, Stewart tallied 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points, including one power-play goal.
Overall, in 59 regular season games games, Stewart tallied 34 goals and 49 assists for 83 points, including two power-play goals, and a +/- rating of +55.
Stewart has signed a tender to join the Johnstown Tomahawks of the NAHL for next season.
In 12 regular season NAPHL games and four NAPHL playoff games, Virag tallied 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points, including one power-play and one shorthanded goal.
Overall, he tallied 64 points (25 goals and 39 assists), including five power play goals and three shorthanded goals, in 53 games played by the U18 squad during the regular season. He finished the campaign with a +33 rating.
Stewart and Virag helped guide the U18 Stars to a 45-12-1-1 regular season record and the Mid-American District 18U Tier I Championship and a spot in the 2019 Chipotle-USA Hockey Youth Tier I 18U National Championships, set for Grand Rapids, MI, April 3-8, 2019.
Consideration and selection to the All-NAPHL 18U Team - High Performance Division Team was based on player performance in all NAPHL games throughout the 2018-19 season.
"Both Ty and Olda had outstanding seasons and deserve all the accolades they receive," said Stars U18 head coach Dave Kosick. "They are both gifted extremely talented hockey players who create scoring opportunities when they have the puck ."