Monday, November 07, 2005

North Stars sweep away Cleveland

The Traverse City North Stars improved to 8-7-2 overall with a pair of wins on home ice last weekend over the Cleveland Jr. Barons.

“Just a good solid weekend,” said North Stars coach-GM Scott Gardiner. “Cleveland didn’t play that poorly. We just got some bounces and some breaks and we were able to take advantage of them. We just played with a little more heart this weekend than we have been. It’s a different team right now.”

Friday night, goalie Jeremy Kalieniecki stopped Josh Leonard on a penalty shot with less than five seconds left in the third period and the North Stars ahead, 3-2.

“We really needed that one,” said Gardiner. “It was great to get back home and to taste victory again. Kaleniecki was huge for us, especially there at the end.”

Kelieniecki made 34 saves and Jonathan Juliano, with two, and Adam Sponseller scored for the hosts. Newly-acquired Josh Sorenson assisted on Julaino's second goal. Sorenson was obtained from Texas last week.

Then Saturday night, Traverse City used a three-goal outburst in the first 20 minutes of action and cruised to a 6-2 triumph.

Sorenson, Matthew Larke, Sponseller (two), Travis Paeth and Patrick Nagorsen tallied for Traverse City and Kalieniecki stopped 28 shots.

“That’s what we needed after last weekend at Mahoning Valley,” said Nagorsen. “We’re playing smarter and playing to our system. If we shut them down in the defensive zone, it only helps us in the offensive end.”

The North Stars return to Centre ICE Friday when North Division rival Alpena comes to Traverse City for the front end of a home-and-home series. Game time on Nov. 11 is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Photo by John L. Russell/Great Lakes Images

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