Monday, June 16, 2008

North Stars open camp comes to a close

The Traverse City North Stars put a cherry on top of their summer open tryout camp on Sunday at Centre ICE arena, as the Blue Team rallied for a come-from-behind, sudden-death shootout victory over the White Team in the camp’s capstone contest.

TC Central product Eric McLintock recorded the game-bagger in the seventh round of the shootout session, just moments after the Blues pulled their goalie and Stars tender Bo Jacobs crammed home the equalizer with less than a minute to play. Sean Burke, a former TC West prep star, assisted on the game-saving marker.

“That all-star game had a great pace, a great feel,” said Traverse City head coach-GM Anthony Palumbo. “Both teams went hard, it was entertaining, and then you have the exciting finish. It was a fun way to close it out.”

The Blue & White game put a period on the team’s open tryout season. The top players from both camps were extended invites to the Stars’ training camp (July 23-25), at which the club’s 2008-09 roster will be picked. That group includes the players eligible to return from last season, the club’s tenders, and five draft picks.

“We’re comfortable with the players we have to choose from,” Palumbo continued. “We think we have put together a group of players that can contend for a place on our roster. We have 25 spots open, let’s see who comes to camp ready to earn a spot.”


TITANIC TWOSOME: A pair of current TC West H.S. stars acquitted themselves with distinction in Sunday’s all-star game: Juniors-to-be Mitch Snider and Eric Rivard. Snider, a defenseman by trade, played at center.

One shift after absorbing a crushing body check, Snider corralled a loose puck deep in the Blue Team’s zone and registered an unassisted tally. Rivard got the Blue Team on the board, notching the contest’s first goal.

TREETOP TRIO: Saturday marked the return to Traverse City of towering winger Kyle Jean, who made round on the spring USHL circuit. He joined TC tender Chris Salomone and right wing Garrett Thompson on a forward line that averages 6-feet-2½ and nearly 200 pounds.

“It was good to have Kyle back, and he looked very good,” Palumbo said. “And I think we got exactly what we thought we were getting in Chris. He’s been solid at both camps.”

LOCALS SEEKING SPOTS: In addition to the six local players who are eligible to return – Burke, Dallas Kniss, McLintock, Eric O’Hearn, Garrett Thompson, Marc Thompson – a number of Traverse City products were invited to the Stars training camp. Local hopefuls include TC Central products Eric Swy and Lucas and Tyler Stricker and Bay Reps goalie Andrew Mills.

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