TRAVERSE CITY — The few fans who braved the elements for Tuesday's North American Hockey League game at Centre ICE were treated to a spectacular finish.
What was more of a defensive battle through two periods opened up in the third -- in more ways than one -- as Traverse City earned a 5-4 North American Hockey League victory over Kalamazoo.
Tied 1-1, the teams went on a splurge of goals and penalties, even throwing in a fight involving TC goalie Kyle Laslo to boot.
"It was a crazy third period," North Stars coach Chad Fournier said. "We kind of got away from how we had been playing. We had been playing simple and playing hard. We got away from that a little, and they got some goals. But we clamped down there at the end. We won, so we'll take it. They don't all have to be pretty."
The Stars went up 5-2 on a flurry of third-period goals, then let the Wings back in the game with a pair of short-handed markers and had to survive a number of Kalamazoo attacks at the end, including a brief 6-on-4. Oh, and the goalie fight.
"We came out in the third period and scored a bunch of goals really quick," Laslo said. "They got one, and then the whole scrum happened. That was the first one of my career."
Traverse City had opened it up to lead 5-2 on goals by Jared VanWormer, Kyle Schempp, Michal Toman and Sean Murphy when the game's most interesting moment occurred with 12 minutes remaining.
Kalamazoo forward Austin Hervey came free for a break-away and ran into Laslo -- who took exception -- and the Stars' 195-pound netminder fell on top of and then started repeatedly punching the 218-pound Western Michigan University commit with his catching-glove hand.