Monday, November 06, 2006

North Stars swept in Mahoning Valley


When it rains, it pours.

And there was a deluge on Friday at the Boardman IceZone, as Mahoning Valley handed the visiting Traverse City North Stars a 7-2 setback at the Phantoms' home opener.

Doug Leaverton's knuckling, bounding puck from beyond the blue line somehow found its way into the back of the Traverse City net just 2:26 into the contest, and the affair snowballed in favor of the hosts from there.

"When it's bad, it's bad - and it was bad tonight," admitted Stars head coach Scott Gardiner. "That first dump-in that scored - it wasn't why we lost, and it wasn't anybody's fault, but it was kind of symbolic of how our night went."

New TC defenseman Nick Von Bokern did give the North Stars a 1-1 tie when he registered a power-play marker a mere :16 into the second period, but Matt Quigley responded for Mahoning Valley a little more than two minutes later and Nathan Longpre added what turned out to be the game-winner a minute after that. It was the first of two for Quigley, and the first of three for Longpre, who would post two more in the second period.

Mike Glaesmer posted his first goal in a Stars sweater, keeping Longpre from the natural hat trick with a power-play effort at 11:46 of the second. Glaesmer and Aaron Pietila had assisted on Van Bokern's goal, while Jameson Raymond and Kent Detlefsen drew helpers on Glaesmer's marker.

The game featured a plethora of shots on net as the teams combined for 93 attempts, but TC's Stefan Shively was the busiest goalkeep, absorbing 55 shots to Ryan Zapolski's 38. The North Stars fell to 7-10-1, while Mahoning Valley upped its mark to 9-7-1. The clubs have now split their four regular season meetings in 2006-07.

"I know we have a ton of new guys, and you might expect as much, but we were not in sync tonight," Gardiner added. "We had two new guys with the goals, but we need our producers to produce. There were times tonight when we dominated - like almost the entire second period - but it's a period we still lost, and it's frustrating."


The Traverse City North Stars struck first and struck last on Saturday at the Boardman Ice Zone, but the host Mahoning Valley Phantoms wedged a trio of goals betwixt to claim a 3-2 triumph in the finale of a two-game series.

Joe Greener put Traverse City ahead just five minutes into the contest on a power play marker set up by Aaron Pietila and newly-acquired Nick Van Bokern, but Chris Fairbanks (7:42), Alden Hirschfeld (12:30) and Dustin Cloutier (13:32) reeled off the game-winning trifecta in the middle stanza.

Patrick Nagorsen pulled Traverse City (7-11-1) to within one on a power play goal at 10:12 of the third, but the North Stars couldn't crack Phantoms goalkeep Ryan Zapolski down the stretch. Mike Glaesmer and Van Bokern drew assists on Nagorsen's sixth of the season.

Glaesmer recorded three points in the two-game series, while Van Bokern now leads all North American Hockey League defensemen with 10 power-play assists.

Kyle Jendra staffed the TC net, stopping 30 of the 33 shots he faced, while Zapolski went 31-for-33.

The North Stars face off with regional adversary Alpena next weekend, with Friday night's contest slated for Northern Lights Arena and Saturday's return engagement at Centre ICE arena. Both clashes commence at 7 p.m.

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