TRAVERSE CITY — Sean Murphy started things out strong, and his Traverse City North Stars teammates took the rest for a 4-2 victory over first-place Port Huron.
Murphy scored goals in the first and second periods for a 2-1 TC lead. Will Badner and Jared Van Wormer tacked on third-period strikes before the Fighting Falcons got on the board with 1:22 left for the first time since the late first period.
"Murphy played really well and we played a lot more physical with these guys," Stars coach Chad Fournier said.
Traverse City improved its record to 4-3 against the Falcons.
Kyle Laslo made 19 saves as the North Stars shut down the Falcons, limiting them to 21 shots over 60 minutes. Traverse City had just one more shot on net, but made more of them count to pick up two points on North Division-leading Port Huron (16-9-2).
"(Forwards) Jon Farkas and Kyle Loridon didn't have any points, but they were very productive for us," Fournier said.
The Stars (11-5-4) have 26 points to the Falcons' 34, but also have seven games in hand. Kalamazoo (15-8-0) is in between with 30 points.
Traverse City is off until next weekend, when Port Huron comes to town Friday and Kalamazoo on Saturday.