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Recent U18 AAA Esmark Stars News

Ruffner Signs Tender with Wichita Falls Warriors

By DLG 11/30/2019, 4:30pm EST

18U D-Man Commits to NAHL Club

Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U defenseman Lane Ruffner has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Wichita Falls (TX) Warriors.

The 18-year old western Pennsylvania native, who is a senior at Greater Latrobe High School in Latrobe, PA, is in his second season with the U18 AAA Stars. Prior to joining the U18 Stars squad, Ruffner had previously skated for the U16, U15 and U13 Esmark Stars.

To date this season, Ruffner (6'1", 180 lbs.) has tallied 5 points, all assists, in 12 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) games. Overall, to date, he has recorded 17 points (1 goals, 16 assists), including 1 power play goal, in 33 games played.

During the 2018-19 NAPHL season, he registered 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist), in 19 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) games. Overall, he recorded 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists), including 1 power play goal, in 60 games.

During the 2017-18 NAPHL season, Ruffner registered 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists), in 25 16U AAA league games. Overall, he recorded 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists), including 1 power play goal, in 48 games.

During the 2016-17 NAPHL season at U15, he registered 2 points (2 assists), in league games. 

Last season, Ruffner helped lead Esmark's U18 squad to the Mid-American District Championship and a spot at the USA Hockey 18U Tier I National Championships. 

"Lane earned this opportunity because of the hard work and dedication he has brought to the rink every day for the past five years," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "He is an outstanding defensive player, certainly among the best in our league, and he now being given an opportunity to take his game to the next level."

Ruffner is the second member of the 2019-2020 Esmark Stars to secure a tender with an NAHL squad for the 2020-2021 season.  Teammate Dustin Gergerach previously signed with the NAHL's Johnstown Tomahawks.

Wichita Falls will be returning to the NAHL and the league's Southern Division after a three-year hiatus

The team, which is owned by Robbie Hockey LLC, an entity owned and operated by Mary Anne Choi, will begin play during the 2020-21 season and play out of the 6,500 seat Kay Yeager Coliseum.

The NAHL has had a team in the Southern part of the United States since 199, with the South Division first forming in 2003.

The division currently has seven teams competing in the NAHL: Amarillo Bulls (Amarillo, TX), Corpus Christi IceRays (Corpus Christi, TX), Lone Star Brahmas (North Richland Hills, Texas), New Mexico Ice Wolves (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Odessa Jackalopes (Odessa, TX), Shreveport Mudbugs (Shreveport, LA), and Topeka Pilots (Topeka, KS). 

Three Esmark Stars Players Honored

The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced its Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performers for the month of October. 

The players were selected based upon their performance at the second NAPHL event of the season, which took place in Attleboro, MA, Oct. 4-6, 2019. Stats were based on all games played at the league's Eastern Showcase which saw the NAPHL's 18U and 16U High Performance and Eastern Divisions in action.

In the Midget U16 AAA Division, Esmark defenseman Regan Kallis was honored, as he was selected as the number one star for U16 defenseman.

The 5’9/155 lbs. native of St. Albert, Alberta, recorded seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) in four games to help the Stars to a 3-1 record at the event. That included three, multi-point games in wins over the New Jersey Jr. Titans, Northeast Generals, and Everett Silvertips Elite. Kallis’ best effort was a three point game in a 9-2 win over Everett.

In addition, Esmark Stars U16 forward Alexander Keller was honored, as he was selected as the number three star for U16 forwards. The 5’9/155 lbs. from Bridgeville, PA, recorded nine points (5 goals, 4 assists) in four games, including five points (1goal, 4 assists) in a win over the Northeast Generals.

In the Midget U18 AAA Division, Stars goaltender Danny Mitchell was honored as the 18U Goaltender Peak Performer.

Mitchell appeared in two games stopping 53 of the 56 shots he faced with a goals against average of 1.50 a save percentage of .946% and recorded a record of 1-0-0-1, in a 3-1 win over the Seacoast Spartans and a 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Jr. Titans.

Mitchell was previously selected as the number two star 18U Goaltender at the opening NAPHL event of the season in Blaine, MN.

With more than 100 online high school courses and 20 years of experience, Apex Learning Virtual School offers players the opportunity to be both successful academically and available for practice and travel. Rigorous curriculum and the support of expert online teachers provide a strong academic foundation. The flexibility to complete online course work when and where it is convenient means school can fit with player's hockey commitments. Enrollment options include full time to earn a diploma and individual courses to fulfill specific requirements. For players wanting to qualify for Division I and Division III college teams, courses approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are offered.

Geregach Signs Tender with Johnstown Tomahawks

By DLG 11/16/2019, 12:15pm EST

18U D-Man Commits to NAHL Club

Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U defenseman Dustin Geregach has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Johnstown Tomahawks of the NAHL’s East Division. 

The 18-year old western Pennsylvania native, who is a senior at Montour High School in Robinson, PA, is in his second season with the U18 AAA Stars. Prior to joining the U18 Stars squad, Geregach skated for the U16 Armstrong Arrows.

To date this season, Geregach (6'0", 185 lbs.) has tallied 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists), including 2 power play goals, in 12 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) games. Overall, to date, he has recorded 27 points (7 goals, 20 assists), including 5 power play goals, in 30 games played.

During the 2018-19 NAPHL season, Geregach registered 17 points (3 goals, 14 assists), in 19 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) games. Overall, he recorded 47 points (14 goals, 33 assists), including 5 power play goals, in 61 games.

Last season, Geregach helped lead Esmark's U18 squad to the Mid-American District Championship and a spot at the USA Hockey 18U Tier I National Championships. He was also selected to play in the NAPHL's Top Prospects Showcase at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.

"Dusty has busted his tail and worked hard on his game over the past year and a half ," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "His overall game and calm on the ice has had him on  a number of team's radar.  Johnstown landed themselves a truly solid d-man."

Geregach is the first member of the 2019-2020 Esmark Stars to secure a tender with an NAHL squad for the 2020-2021 season.