Monday, September 19, 2005

North Stars win first game in team history

On a three-game road swing in Cleveland, the Traverse City North Stars dropped the first two, but rebounded Sunday for their first win in franchise history.

The Barons went up 3-1 early in the third period before Jared Mullen, with his second of the game, and Travis Paeth tied it midway through the period.

The game stayed tied at the end of the overtime session and Patrick Nagorsen won it in the shootout.

"All the guys who were up before me told me how the ice was really choppy and Coach pointed out how he (Cleveland goalie Kenny Reiter) was going down into his butterfly," explained Nagorsen. "So I came down and pump-faked and then slid it in on the forehand."

"It feels great," said Stars head coach Scott Gardiner. "You don't want to come down here for three games and get swept. We picked up two points of a possible six (on the road swing), and we wanted more but we'll take this for a start."

The late-game heroics are nothing new to Nagorsen, who scored the game-clinching goal for Orchard Lake St. Mary's in overtime of last year's MHSAA regional finals against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood.

"This is such a huge win for us," Nagorsen added. "We didn't want to leave here 0-3 and now we come into our home opener with a ton of confidence."

Cleveland had taken 5-1 and 4-2 wins the previous two evenings.

Jeremy Kaleniecki made 26 saves for the win and stopped Josh Leonard on the final shot of the shootout to make Nagorsen’s goal stand as the winner.

The North Stars return to Centre ICE for Friday's home opener against the Alpena IceDiggers. The teams clash again on Saturday. The Sept. 23-24 home set begins at 7:30 p.m. each night with warm-ups underway at 7 p.m.

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