Sunday, May 09, 2010

North Stars ousted at Robertson Cup

The Traverse City North Stars' hopes of gaining a berth in Sunday’s NAHL Robertson Cup title game dissipated on Saturday afternoon – with the Stars watching helplessly from the Town Toyota Center seats.

When Fairbanks knocked off Bismarck in Saturday’s afternoon contest – on the final day of round-robin action – it knocked idle Traverse City from contention. Fairbanks – the only team in the Robertson Cup that did not advance to the tournament by winning a pair of playoff series (Wenatchee was an automatic qualifier as the host team, putting West Division runner-up Fairbanks into the mix) – will face Bismarck in Sunday’s championship showdown.

“It’s certainly disappointing,” admitted TC head coach-GM Anthony Palumbo, whose team finished the postseason with a sterling 8-2 record and missed spot in the title tilt by virtue of the goal-differential tiebreaker. “It was a pretty quiet ride back to the hotel after the game. We know we had a great season, but it’s going to take some time to get beyond the realization that we came up just a little bit short of advancing.”

Bismarck, opting to play without four of its top players after locking up a title game berth on Friday evening, surrendered an unassisted shorthanded goal in the third period of Saturday’s loss to Fairbanks.

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