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Recent U16 AAA Esmark Stars News

Gorscak to attend Niagara University

Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club, proud members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), are pleased to announce that former Esmark forward Christian Gorscak has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Niagara University Purple Eagles of the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Gorscak, a native of Jeannette, PA, skated for the 16U AAA Esmark Stars during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, during which he registered 159 points (77 goals and 82 assists) in 141 games played.  Those numbers included 60 points in 48 career games in NAPHL action. 

During the 2016-17 season, he helped the Stars to the NAPHL 16U Dixon Cup Championship, appeared in the NAPHL 16U All-Star Game, and was named to the All-NAPHL 16U First Team.

He signed a tender with the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) following his second season on the Stars 16U squad

Through 12 games this season, his third season with the Johnstown, Gorscak (185 lbs., 5’11"), has registered 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists), and is the current team leader in assists and tied for third in assists in the entire NAHL.

In three seasons of playing in the NAHL, Gorscak has appeared in 114 career regular season games and recorded 48 points.

"It is so great to see Christian rewarded with his commitment to Niagara University. He is a first class human being and his play on the ice has spoken for itself," said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.

”When we tendered Christian as a young rookie from the Esmark Stars U16 program out of the NAPHL, we knew he was a talented player, but it was remarkable to see his maturity at a young age. He has improved his game in various ways each season while maintaining his infectious positive attitude and team first mentality. I am extremely happy for him and his family because he truly deserves this. Niagara University is not just getting a great hockey player, but more importantly, an incredible person," Letizia added.

Gorscak is part of a growing number of Ladder of Development players that began playing in the NAPHL and have seen their careers move onto the NAHL and then eventually, NCAA Division I college hockey.

Since 2000, the Niagara University Purple Eagles have four NCAA tournament appearances, and have clinched four Conference Regular Season Championships and Three Conference Tournament Championships.

Gorscak's commitment begins with the 2021-22 collegiate season, affording him the opportunity to remain with the Tomahawks through this year and the 2020-21 season.

Three Stars Honored

The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced its Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performers for the month of September.  The players were selected based upon their performance at the first NAPHL event of the season, which took place in Blaine, MN, Sept. 19-22.

Stats were based on all games played at the opening league showcase.

Peak Performers selections were awarded only to full-time NAPHL players in the High Performance and Elite Divisions.

In the Midget U18 AAA Division, Esmark Stars defenseman Dustin Geregach and goaltender Danny Mitchell were both honored.

Mitchell was selected as the number two goaltender and Geregach as the number three star for U18 defenseman for their performances in Minnesota.

At the opening NAPHL event, Geregach tallied 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists), including a power play goal.  While Mitchell appeared in two games stopping 48 of the 52 shots he faced with a goals against average of 2.00 a save percentage of .923% and recorded a record of 1-1-0-0, in a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Magicians Elite and 1-0 loss to the Nashville Jr. Predators.

In the Midget U16 High Performance AAA Division, Esmark Stars forward Adis Ultanbekov was honored, as he was selected as the number three star for U16 forwards.

At the opening Minnesota Showcase, Ultanbekov tallied 7 points (5 goals, 2 assists), including one power play goal, in helping the U16 Stars to a 3-1-0-0 record. He scored in each of the Stars four games played at the event.

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.

Esmark U16 to participate in Russian Tournament

By DLG 07/28/2019, 12:45pm EDT

U16 team to play in Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan

Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club, proud members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), has announced that it will be sending a team, U16 AAA, to the city of Nizhnekamsk in Tatarstan, Russia to participate in an International Friendship Hockey Tournament, Aug. 24-31, 2019.

The tournament will take place at the Neftekhimik Ice Palace in Nizhnekamsk.  The Neftekhimik Ice Palace is home to the Kontinental Hockey League's (KHL) Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.

Tatarstan, is home to two KHL teams, the Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, who play in the tournament’s host city of Nizhnekamsk, and the Ak Bars Kazan, which is based in the capital city of Kazan. Both teams are members of the Kharlamov Division in the Eastern Conference of the KHL.

The KHL, considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia, and second in the world behind the National Hockey League (NHL), is home to 24 member clubs based in Belarus, China, Finland, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Russia.

In addition to the Esmark Stars club, other teams scheduled to participate in the tournament include: Avangard Omsk (Omsk, Russia), Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia), Ak Bars Kazan (Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia), Neftehimik Nizhnekamsk (Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan, Russia), Neftyannik Almetyevsk (Almetyevsk, Russia), and Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia).

The tournament and participation of the Esmark Stars AAA club is being coordinated by the Sports Ministry of the Republic of Tatarstan and the US-based Friendship Bridge Association, in addition, to the KHL's Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk hockey club.

The hockey tournament is the first of several international sporting events in Tatarstan for US-based teams and programs planned by Friendship Bridge Association.  Upcoming events with American teams participating will include boxing, gymnastics and judo competitions.

"This is a great opportunity for the Stars to kick-off our 35th year celebration," said Stars founder and general manager Dave Kosick.

"By traveling internationally, it will allow us to truly celebrate the history of our program," Kosick added, "as the Stars hockey club highlighted our inaugural season in 1984 by traveling to Finland."

The Pittsburgh Stars AAA Hockey program, predecessor to the Esmark Stars AAA Club, was founded in 1984.

In addition to Finland, the Stars program has also previously sent teams to participate in Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey program, based in Pittsburgh, PA, is a nationally and internationally recognized amateur hockey club, under the umbrella of USA Hockey and the Mid-American Hockey District. The program, founded in 1984, provides elite level amateur hockey players exposure on a local, regional, national and international level. 

The Stars program provides elite level ice hockey training and development designed to allow each player to maximize their potential while providing a showcase for athletes for junior, collegiate and professional opportunities ... all while providing constructive lessons that allow them to excel in life.