TRAVERSE CITY — Playing short a skater all game, it didn't look like it on the ice.
It did on the scoreboard.
With only 17 skaters, Traverse City outplayed Kalamazoo for long stretches, but couldn't catch a break in a 4-1 setback to their North Division rivals.
"I thought we played good; I really did," North Stars acting coach Anthony Palumbo said. "We just couldn't score. In the end, their guy made a lot of good saves. In terms of the game, I'd say we probably carried 65 percent of the game — maybe 70 percent even.
"We made a mistake on that one goal and it cost us. They scored a power play goal, and we didn't. That's kind of been our thing. But the boys played hard and worked hard. We hit a couple goalposts. (Eric) Jones hit the crossbar, Mitchell Snider misses a break-away, Will Badner misses an empty net in the first. But we played good. I like our chances if we play like that."
The North Stars held a 39-28 advantage in shots on goal — including a 17-6 bulge in the second period — but could never draw even with second-place Kalamazoo as the two squads battle for playoff position. The Stars hold third in the North Division.
"A couple breaks and it could have been a different game," Palumbo said. "Those are tough ones to lose. You outshoot a team and you dominate stretches of play. We've got to find a way to score a power-play goal — and I'm not sure how we're going to do it. I actually thought our power play was better. We got good shots; we just couldn't finish."
Traverse City was 0-for-5 on the power play, making the team 4-for-51 thus far in the new year.
With four players still serving suspensions as a result of the brawl between Traverse City and Kalamazoo on Jan. 22, the North Stars had to call up a player — forward Conor Durgan — from an affiliate just to have 17 skaters, which is one shy of a full four lines.
The team will get defenseman Zack Dorer back from suspension for Friday's home matchup with fourth-place Michigan. They'll also have forward Kyle Haak — who couldn't play Wednesday because of a school commitment — in the lineup. Forward Seth Adams is day-to-day with a deep leg bruise.
"It's been tough fighting through with a short lineup," Palumbo said. "But I thought the guys did a great job fighting through it."
And there was no fighting in the literal sense — which is not the norm is recent matchups with the K-Wings.
"I wasn't worried about that," Palumbo said. "We're in a playoff race. That's past history. We're focused on trying to make the playoffs and get a good position. That wasn't much of a concern going into the game."
The closest the contest came to blows was when TC's Kyle Laslo and Kalamazoo's Danny Hamburg collided near the blue line as Laslo was trying to get off the ice during a delayed penalty call. Laslo and Hamburg fought in Traverse City's 5-4 Jan. 17 win, and Hamburg was the recipient of several broken teeth and a concussion in the Jan. 22 brawl.
After the referees discussed the matter, Traverse City was awarded a power play for the original hooking call on David Dekorte and nothing else materialized. The Stars generated solid pressure on the ensuing power play, but came up without a goal for the fourth straight power play.
Laslo ended with 24 saves, while Kalamazoo's Alex Okicki had 38.
Sean Murphy scored Traverse City's only goal Wednesday, going five-hole off a Will Badner feed from behind the net for his 12th goal this season to make it 3-1 with 4:38 to go.
Kalamazoo had gone up 3-0 on third-period goals by Brett Beauvais and Andrew Graves.
The second period's only goal came off a Traverse City turnover in its own zone, and Daniel Cesarz was able to sneak his shot past a lunging Laslo for a 1-0 lead with 6:41 remaining. Former North Stars forward Taylor Burden assisted on the score.
The K-Wings added an empty-net goal by Kyle Gattelaro with 1:13 remaining.
TC still playing without several suspended regulars
TRAVERSE CITY — Playing short a skater all game, it didn't look like it on the ice.
Ex-North Star Jean signs with N.Y. Rangers
The North Stars are no longer in Traverse City, but soon one of their former standouts will be.Continued ...
Stars' departure leaves void
With the North Stars' seven-year run in Traverse City over, where does Hockeytown North turn for its hockey fix now?Continued ...
Run ends for North Stars in Traverse City
TC ousted with 3-2 overtime lossContinued ...
TC North Stars in must-win situation
Do or die time. The Traverse City North Stars will be in that situation for the next three games — they hope.Continued ...
K-Wings beat Stars again
Traverse City must win out to keep season aliveContinued ...
- Friday, April 6, 2012
Ex-North Star scores game- winner for FSU
Ferris State will play for the NCAA hockey championship for the first time on Saturday night, thanks to the game-winning goal from ex-Traverse City North Star Kyle Bonis.Continued ...
- Thursday, April 5, 2012
Stars open playoffs on the road
Don't expect a brawl, but there's going to be a fight to move on as the Traverse City North Stars hit the road Friday to start the North Division playoffs.Continued ...
- Monday, April 2, 2012
Badner's goals power Stars
Will Badner netted four goals Sunday afternoon as the Traverse City North Stars closed out the regular season with a win.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 31, 2012
North Stars blank Jamestown
Jared Van Wormer and Mitchell Snider each had a goal and an assist Friday night to spark the Traverse City North Stars to a 3-0 North American Hockey League win over Jamestown at Centre ICE. The North Stars scored a goal in each period.Continued ...
- Monday, March 26, 2012
Stars top Hitmen; last series on tap
The Traverse City North Stars will return home on a winning note, a three-game homestand with Jamestown remaining in the regular season.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 24, 2012
North Stars fall to Chicago
It wasn’t a good day to be an above-.500 North Division team. Traverse City failed to gain ground on Port Huron and Kalamazoo as all three of the top teams lost in the same evening.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 18, 2012
Jamestown avoids sweep
Jamestown avoided a sweep in the three-game weekend series on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Traverse City.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 17, 2012
Stars win again
Van Wormer, Rivard and Badner score in 3-1 victoryContinued ...
- Thursday, March 8, 2012
North Stars clinch spot in playoffs
The Traverse City North Stars clinched a playoff berth with a shutout of the Michigan Warriors.Continued ...
- Monday, March 5, 2012
North Stars come up short in OT
The Traverse City North Stars will finish the regular season with a split.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 4, 2012
North Stars win in shootout
Michal Toman’s shootout goal in the fifth round Saturday was the difference for Traverse City’s 4-3 win over Kalamazoo.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 3, 2012
North Stars moving to Sault Ste. Marie
The North Stars are moving north, but they’ll no longer be Stars. Traverse City’s North American Hockey League franchise has been sold to an ownership group in Sault Ste. Marie that will move the team there and operate as the Soo Eagles.Continued ...
- Wednesday, February 29, 2012
North Stars beat Kalamazoo
The Traverse City North Stars defeated Kalamazoo in a North American Hockey League game at Centre ICE on Tuesday.Continued ...
- Tuesday, February 28, 2012
TC's Snider earns honor from NAHL
It took a pair of shutouts by Alexandria goaltender Jacob Meyers to prevent Traverse City's Mitchell Snider from being the North American Hockey League's top player of the week honoree.Continued ...
- Thursday, February 23, 2012
Stars prospects represent team well
Each of five Traverse City representatives notched at least a point in the three-day NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.Continued ...
- Monday, February 20, 2012
Kalamazoo rallies to beat Stars
The Traverse City North Stars were clinging to a 2-1 lead when Kalamazoo exploded for four unanswered goals.Continued ...
- Saturday, February 18, 2012
Stars skate past Kalamazoo
Goalie Kyle Laslo stopped 36 shots Friday night as the Traverse City North Stars defeated Kalamazoo.Continued ...
- Monday, February 13, 2012
North Stars win
Division-leading Port Huron clinched a playoff berth on Saturday, but couldn't handle the North Stars on Sunday.Continued ...
- Saturday, February 11, 2012
Murphy propels Stars
Traverse City’s Sean Murphy earned the game’s No. 1 star Friday night.Continued ...
- Thursday, February 9, 2012
- Ex-North Star Jean signs with N.Y. Rangers