Stars skate tonight for title at Rinks

Southern CT Youth Hockey Association, a member organization of the Connecticut Hockey Conference, the state affiliate of USA Hockey, saw its Squirt A Stars team sweep the CHC Squirt Tier III field, winning five games in three days to win a berth in the CHC Squirt Tier III final game tonight at 6 versus Avon at the Rinks at Shelton on River Road.

Southern Stars skaters include: Kevin Kelly of Stratford, Aaron Martino of Stratford, Brett Pisani of Milford, Justin LaSella of Milford, Evan White of Milford, Scott Wright of Milford, Cody White of Orange, Jason Csejka of Orange, Franklin Berry of Seymour and Brandon Mercede of Oxford.

They are led by assistant coach Troy Early and head coach Peter Capone, a former high school standout at East Haven and currently an assistant coach of the Branford High School varsity hockey team.

The Stars play in the CT Tier III American Division (11 teams) and finished their six-month regular season with an overall record of 35-8-5 and a conference record of 14-2-4.

This placed them second in regular-season play to Northwestern of New Milford, besting the Stars by only one game.

The CHC sponsors 22 Tier III Squirt teams in two divisions, narrowed down to the top 16 teams to take the ice at the Rinks at Shelton at the Connecticut Sports Center, host of the Squirt Tier III CHC state championship tournament, which began this past Thursday and culminates with the championship game tonight.

The winner will represent CT at the USA Hockey Northeast Sectional Tournament in Vermont later this month.

The Stars swept their Round I opponents, disposing of Greenwich on Thursday in their tightest contest at 2-1.

They went on to out-match the Darien squad on Saturday morning, with a 7-1 decision seeing six Stars skaters score, then escaping an always high-stakes challenge from local rival Hamden, 3-2 on Saturday night.

Among eight teams to survive to the quarterfinals, the Stars were back on the ice at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday to post a hard-won 3-1 victory over Stamford.

They capped off the weekend by meeting Hamden again in the semifinal game, winning their fourth contest in less than two days by a convincing 6-3 margin and posting a 5-0 tournament record.

Avon earned its berth with a 3-2 decision over Southeastern.

The Southern Stars skate out of the Milford Ice Pavilion on Bic Drive in Milford, fondly known among state hockey buffs as the House that Marty built, a tip of the puck to Marty Roos, owner of MIP and the best high school hockey coaching record in Connecticut state history.

The Stars are a CHC/USA Hockey organization, sponsoring travel hockey squads at all CHC levels, Mite through Midget Major.

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